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Theo. Noel Company Print 



Copyright, 1904 

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Preface . 


Boyhood Days . 

Early Influences and Environments 

The South in the Early 'Fifties 

Secession and Its Victims 

Sibley's Retreat from Santa Fe 

Political and Otherwise 

Campaigning in Louisiana 

With Magruder at Galveston 

Prison and Parole 

The Taint of Rascality . 

Louisiana Rum, Rum, Rum 

In Ante-Bellum Days 

An Ex-Confederate Monument 

Moral and Political 

A Few Foundation Principles 

Business Insight 

Patriotism Versus Self-Interest 

The Meaning of Success 

Fish, Snake, and Other Stories 

Some Insect and Other Truths 

Mexican National Museum 

Another War Chapter 

Mexico— Cuba 

A Chapter for Young Men 


California — West Coast 





None but the brave dare step 
From custom's iron rule; 

The common mind must follow it, 
Or be esteemed a fool. 

Had any considerable part of my life been spent in trying 
to do as others have done or were doing — in other words, 
aping, copying after or imitating — the world never would 
have been benefited by my being born. 

This volume is so different from any other you ever read, 
as all else I have done has been, and is different from the 

To' follow in the path and well beaten road, as others 
love to do, never had any charms for me. 

The ways of others have never been my ways; and that 
mine was popular is attested by the great number of thieves 
and imitators, counterfeiters and apes, whoi have sought to 
make — because I do — by following on my trail, as the hyena 
follows the trail of the lion, or the coyote that of the trapper 
and guide. 

It is to and from the criticism of the smart set, the 
educated apes and baboons, that I owe the greater part of my 
success in life, in all the many and varied paths and ways of 
my own blazing in new and unexplored lands and enterprises 
that have resulted in public benefaction. 

Egotism came to me with old age and from looking back- 
ward and seeing the thousands of favored and educated ones 
I had deemed as being my superiors, left far in the rear in 
the race of life. 

Oftentimes I have thought, had I received even one-half 



of a common school education, the world would have been the 
better; then I look around at the others who received all to 
be had in that line, and methinks, and will die in the thought, 
that it was well as. it was. 

I have written this book while traveling across and up 
and down the continent, from shore to shore, and all but from 
pole to pole, and while crossing the ocean and traveling on the 
continent, while others, and the very highest class, were 
playing cards, reading trashy novels or engaged in other 
brain-debasing amusements. 

This work has all been talked over to my stenographer 
while we were on the goi; for my life is yet and ever will 
be a busy one, wherever my field of labor, whether it be in 
the office, on the farm, or where else; and when all around 
is still and others are enjoying themselves, my time is business. 

The great American jurist — and soldier as well — Judge 
Gen. Wallace, in rendering a decision in a case of great- 
importance to others than myself, said: "We whoi have 
known Mr. Noel for years know that he talks out in plain 
language and as he thinks, and talks to all as he does to wife, 
child, dear friend or most desperate foe." And this I have 
done in this book; and I have no* apologies to make, I fear 
no criticism. 

I have scorn and contempt only for the low-lived ones who 
assail me on any point; for well I know that no honorable 
one, who has done his best to leave the world better than he 
found it, by making two blades grow where one formerly 
grew, as I have, will find herein other than the truth told 
in my own way. While I know more than one will find 
thoughts and suggestions presented herein that will be a 
benefit, I also know there are thousands who> fail to see any- 
thing of great merit in any great book. 


It was in the middle oif the year when the campaign cry 
was hard cider and log cabins that I was born, and for why 
I ofttimes think I love apples and all other sorts of fruits that 
will make as many good things as they do<. I was born in a 
log cabin on a puncheon floor, and was rocked in a sap; trough. 
That cabin has long since passed away, but not my remem- 
brance of it and of its environments, the tall trees of the 
southwestern part of the Wolverine State. 

Why I should state any more than the above may never 
be satisfactorily answered, though in doing what I am and 
will continue to do> ere this is put in cold type, I am doing that 
which I have been requested to> do> by many who, from having 
known me to have been engaged in many business enterprises 
in many countries as well as my own, and that I had served 
in the armies of more than one government, and more often 
on the side that did not win out than on the one that did. 

My early boyhood was spent on a stumpy, rooty farm in 
the wilderness, as it was then, in the far West. Did I have 
a gift to tell of things that occurred as they might be told 
by a gifted writer, I could tell of things that occurred to me 
when I was a boy that would be unbelievable by the boy of 
this day. Few boys of my acquaintance had more varied 
experiences than I. 

There were hunters in those days, and about the first com- 
mercial transactions that I remember having been the promoter 
of was the melting of my grandmother's A. B. C. pewter plates 
and running them in elder joints that my older brothers had 
used as popguns, and selling the bars for lead. I was possibly 
the first smelter in all Michigan. 



The plates were not missed until I had to make a con- 
fession of what I had done by reason of my having more than 
a quart cup of pins and half a cup of needles of all sizes and 
sorts, which I had received in exchange for my bars at prices 
of my own making. I had converted quite a large stock of 
my goods into Barlow knives, and these goods were converted 
into all sort of junk the boys and my father's employees would 
bring me, and never at their prices, but my own. 

I need not tell what occurred, or the punishment I received, 
when it was found out that a stack of eight-inch A. B. C. 
pewter plates, fully ten inches high, had all been blown away 
by forty-cent powder at squirrels, coons and deer, and was 
not to be collected again. The punishment I received was a 
lesson I never forgot. And I never afterwards took anything 
from any one without due compensation, for I have found 
that it is cheaper to pay a good round cash price for anything 
than to just take it. 

My stock of pins and needles was confiscated, and in those 
days, when the postage on a letter from Virginia was twenty- 
five cents, and when a man only got twenty-five cents for 
splitting one hundred and twelve rails, pins were pins and 
needles were needles. Our mothers and sisters spun their own 

The confiscators did not secure my stock of cutlery, which 
I was soon busy converting into two-inch in diameter two- 
cent copper pieces of United States coinage. From sales made 
and donations received, when the first county fair in Berrien 
County was held, I was a capitalist, having forty-eight cents, 
which was about forty cents more than any other boy living 
in the "bend of the river" had. 

This county fair was a great affair to me, and possibly 
no other affair of my life was more deeply engraved on my 
heart of steel.- Before this occurrence the biggest crowd of 
people I had ever seen was at a log-rolling or house-raising, 


where I, a boy, was kept busy providing water for the neigh- 
bors that had congregated doing the work, and when evening 
came and the men were resting and telling old army stories, 
and the young men were having a good time with young lady 
acquaintances, I was still kept busy drawing water from the 
bottom of that fifty-foot well with which the women were to 
wash the dishes. After which the candy-stretching or apple- 
paring commenced. For be it understood in those days, in 
the parts where I was born, between Hard-shell Baptists; 
Methodists, Presbyterians and Quakers, there was no dancing ; 
nay, not even the sound of a fiddle. These were the biggest 
crowds of people I had ever seen until the county fair came 
off, and I shall never forget, though I should be as old as 
Methuselah, how I wondered what all these people did to 
make a living, and what an awful dish-washing night this 
night of our Lord would be. 

I may later on tell what my father was, for he was many 
things, and among other things quite a farmer, horticulturist 
and stock raiser, and the exhibit that was made from our place 
in all these lines was well along up in the front ranks for 

Here I saw my first buffalo*, my first beaver and my first 
really sure enough Indian chief, my first threshing machine 
and fanning mill, and the first pretty girl I ever saw in all 
my life up to that time. I never saw her again. 

I had been saving up my money for this occasion to make 
an', investment that would bring me larger dividends than 
had my last, and something that might not be confiscated. I 
tried to buy a pair of guinea fowls, the like of which I had 
never seen before; but, there being a corner on guinea fowls, 
the price was too high. I had to buy something of use to 
any one besides myself and other boys of my own age. These 
were happy days to me when I had but one garment, and it 
had but one pocket in it, and that large enough to contain a 


first-class stock of everything, including, of course, a "hunk" 
of maple sugar, marbles and what else might be given to> me, 
for I had been broken of taking anything. 

The old store yet stands by the side of the road on the 
bank of the old St. Joe River in Berrien Springs, where I 
first made my greatest cash financial transaction. Forty-twO' 
cents counted down in two-cent pieces, one by one, paid for a 
two-blade buckhorn-handled knife, the big blade of which 1 
was able to open with the assistance of a four-penny nail I 
found in my pocket. Not one of the boys knew of my pur- 
chase. On going home about sundown I poled myself to 
the front ranks, and after much effort opened my knife, which 
I exhibited much as the great financier exhibited his holdings 
in bonds and stocks at a great banquet he gave in New York 
a few years ago. All of the boys wanted to handle it, but 
that was what I had not yet done, so, bending over a pawpaw 
bush, manlike I undertook toi cut it, when with a sound peculiar 
to knives made in those days the rivet broke and the blade 
flew in the crowd to come down a short distance off. As the 
howl went up my feathers went down. I had but four cents 
left. The gunsmith in town charged me five cents for fixing 
in the rivet again and kept the knife more than a month before 
I was able to raise the other cent. That man died in the 
poorhouse, and I helped him there by transferring all my trade 
and influence to the gunsmith who aided me in telling what 

a mean man "G • C" was to treat a good honest boy as 

he did me. I never treated boy, man, nigger or Indian that 
way, which accounts for the large number of I O U's there 
are out over the country in my favor, and always will be. 

Though I have traveled the world over, so to say, and 
been engaged in many enterprises and handled large sums of 
money, some of it my own, I never was a. gambler and not a 
speculator in the sense the word implies nowadays. I have 
never found one man so* smart but that there was another a 


little smarter than he, and it seems to me that few others 
than this class have ever tried to make deals with me. 

There is but one thing that I have lived to perpetually 
regret, and that is that I did not turn bad boy at twelve years 
of age and run away from home, as I had resolved upon doing, 
instead of staying there and being taken to> Texas when I was 
thirteen. Had I done so, I would have learned the black- 
smith's trade, and for my not having done so the world has 
lost one of the best iron workers, smiths and machinists that 
ever honored it, for from infancy I was a Tubal Cain man. 
If this is beyond yon I am sorry for it, for if you knew what 
it meant it is possible that you could understand better what 
I may hereafter in my own way relate. 

My early religion on the one side, my good mother's, was 
of the Methodist persuasion; on the other side, O. S. P. 
Mother's religion was all right, and so> was the other in its 
way, but it either weighed nothing in my estimation or was . 
altogether tooi weighty to come within the sphere of my com- 
prehension, and this reminds me of a truth I might as well 
narrate here as elsewhere. 

I never went to school a day in my life, Sundays not 
counted. I started in on a Cobb's Speller and Pike's Arith- 
metic/ and but for the kindly act of an older half-brother, who 
brought me a Webster's Elementary Spelling Book, to which 
I took with a boy's interest, from its not only having pictures 
but also 1 some good stories which he read to me, my education 
might have been completely neglected. The old man — he was 
a doctor, he was — said that I learned more of the lessons than 
the children did who went to school from hearing them, early 
in the morning and late at night ; wherefore he kept me from * 
my earliest remembrance mixing and rolling out Cook's pills, 
i. e. s calomel, ipecac, jalap and rhubarb, equal portions, war- 
ranted to* do all sorts of devilment. 

Well, I took to Webster's Elementary Spelling Book like 


I heard a neighbor say their sick cat took to a hot brick, and 
I learned every letter, syllable, word, sentence, etc., etc. I 
believe this book to have been the greatest educator of the 
American people, and this from page to page. I learned and 
comprehended all of its trite sayings as copy plates, such as : 
"A man can gain nothing in the company of the vicious;" 
u Birds of a feather flock together," etc., etc. I could at this 
time repeat the fables and draw the pictures illustrating them 
in that book, from the boy in the apple tree to the honest 
farmer, and the judge to the milkmaid, and particularly the 
two travelers and the bear. When I turned the last page oif 
this book I felt that my education was about completed, and 
I was boastful, honestly conscious of the fact that I knew more 
than any other boy of my acquaintance who had been going 
to> school and studying — Pike. I felt that I was prepared for 
commencement day, but when on the last page of this ever- 
dear-to-me volume I came across the twoi longest words of 
seven and eight syllables then used in the English vocabulary, 
methought, and I thought again, and I have been thinking 
about it ever since, for I have run across them about every 
day of my life. They were, they .are: incompatibility and 

In my day and time I have seen many strange things 
never spent much time or money unraveling the mystei^ 
strangeness. Others who pay their own board and work 
without wages or reward do it for me. While I have been a 
great experimenter, it has been along lines somewhat as 
Holmes' books were, "Patent medicine almanacs that cost 
nothing," and yet I have sown seed that fell on stony places 
and I have cast my bread on waters that may have gone to 
the other shore, but surely came not back to mine. 

All men born into this world whoi seek to enjoy any o<f 
its beauties and pleasures, first question themselves as to> what 
they were placed here for, and are like the girl who wanted a 


lover and went out at eventide to the woods near by and prayed 
to God for one, when a hoot owl perched on a high tree cried, 
"Whoo! Whoo!" and the maiden said, "Oh, anybody, good 
God, so it is a man." 

Many thousand people have I met, overtaken and passed 
by in my journey through life, who imagined they were 
"called" or put here for a great purpose, but who never made 
two blades grow where one formerly grew, or in leaving the 
world caused mourning for their departure. 

I am now an old man, but I have never eaten idle bread 
or lost time running after strange gods, yet if seriously asked 
why and for what purpose I was placed on this earth I would 
have to declare it is for those who come after me to tell, for 
I cannot, and they failing, the world will never know that I 
was here. I believe in names; I believe also in signs and 
omens ; in fact, I believe in about everything that men I have 
met on earth — and women, too — believe in, but in names more 
particularly and most emphatically. That my mother thought 
well o-f me when I was born there can be noi question from 
the name that she gave me. And there was no kicking on 
my part when long years afterwards I found that it meant 
"Loved oif the Lord," and I read in holy writ that "He whom 
.the Lord loveth He chasteneth," or words to that effect. If 
it had only been the Lord that used the chastening rod upon 
me, my griefs fromi losses, my pains from bruises, my aches 
from pounds and licks and kicks would not have been soi great 
by many, many counts. 

I sometimes think that there is not living mortal who has 
gone through so many trials, disappointments, soul-felt and 
heart-felt bereavements, deceptions and confidence games that 
hurt, as I have — gone through, and yet I am still in the ring, 
ready at any time for another turn. 

We are told to "Laugh and the world laughs with you, 
weep and you weep alone." This accounts for my loneliness 



and ofttimes cast-downwardness, and yet I have had sugar in 
my tea and cream in my coffee, and I have heard of people 
who have said a good word about me and what I have done, 
but they were so seldom, so far apart and ones so little known 
that they never made a fool of me. 


Those early boyhood experiences of mine on the farm in 
Michigan were not so unlike those of other boys of that 
period as to be worthy of * any particular notice, as I now 
consider it, though the boy of that day, his surroundings and 
his environments, were so> different from those of today that 
it would only give my reader another clue to question my 
statements and doubt my entire efforts at enlightenment, were 
I to 1 fairly, honestly, correctly and uncoloredly give the same. 

The family who* left the eastern Alleghanies to> cross over 
into the valley of what might be termed Death were it in 
Central America or Africa, who penetrated the wilds of the 
woody and woolly western wilderness of Ohio and Indiana 
and came as far west as where I was born, were people who 
were worthy of making noble empires; worthy descendants 
of noble sires; the founders of this great and most noble of 

The boy born under the circumstances which at best existed 
at that time, in a wilderness of woods, as I was, had many 
sports of his own, but of a character that would be considered 
droll and 'way back in these days. 

It was from having been put to bed early by an industrious 
mother, in order that she might do> her work up before she 
laid her tired body down to rest, and that I was induced to 
sleep as long as possible until after I had acquired a certain 
age, that gave me strength to do something for her. Upon 
reaching this age I was awakened to tunes more loud than 
charming, and sometimes both sounding and blistering. Early 
habits are hard to> get rid of, as I have found through life, 
and "As the twig is bent, so shall the tree incline." I have 



always found myself in bed early at night, and there were but 
few of the fowls that had come off of their perches when I 
was around looking after things. 

My father was not much of a farmer. He did all this 
sort of work by proxy while he "doctored" the people, giving; 
them good old allopathic powders, and talked religion and 
politics and — well — once in a while sold a horse and bought 
something or took somebody's note for something they 
thought more valuable than that which they gave. Really and 
in fact, he knew about as much about farming as I ever did 
about running an ocean greyhound or a naval fighting ma- 
chine. He did it all through a hired man and mother and 
me, who> from my earliest recollection had to doi with cows 
and with pigs and with chickens and with horses. 

My lot was a hard one, for the old man came from that 
old F. F. V. stock who> believed in raising boys on the strap 
route, and who, whether the boy needed it or not, would 
administer a good thrashing on the proposition that he would 
need it sooner or later and when he did the gad might not be 
handy or the old man might not be around. When he com- 
menced one of these operations, the louder the boy, that is 
myself, cried and hollered, the better it pleased him. He got 
mad if you didn't holler, so you were sure to catch refined 
cruelty, jump as you might. Like the old Virginia nigger 
who* set a trap to catch a coon or possum, squirrel or rat, 
and turning round to look at it after leaving it said: "Dar 
den, I'se done and sot it to crotch him comin' or goin'," old 
dad's trap was set for one of the boys all the while just that 

There were many things that I learned on the farm, as 
well as many things I learned about old dad, that I never 
forgot. Much about plowing was taught me by a yoke of 
old oxen, who when the dinner horn blew started for the house, 
mattering not what part of the field they were in, taking me 


and the plow along, unless, after having given me a very short 
space of time in which to- unhitch, I had done so. Old Broad, 
that was the nigh ox, used to kick me with as much impunity 
as old dad used to thrash me, only he was not mean about it, 
fo>r he always looked around and seemed to sympathize with 
me and say as much as "Do not come too near next time." 

Mentioning dinner horns reminds me that the same old 
dinner horn which was left on the place when we moved away 
did service in blowing the wolves, bears, panthers and wild 
cats away from the sheepfold which was very close to the 
cabin, and when well sounded came near resembling a Missis- 
sippi calliope or an ocean foghorn as can be imagined. 

Lanterns were used in those days to keep away the wild 
animals, and the boy who* could not make a pawpaw whistle 
that would sound long and loud would never be able to take 
an ax and an auger and draw-knife and go out in the woods 
and cut down a tree and make a plow stock or an ox yoke, 
which I have done more than once before I was twelve years 
old. The boys in those days esteemed themselves valuable in 
proportion to what they could do*, and the ones who- could 
only look pretty and giggle and go with the girls, who always 
petted them while they admired the other fellow, were' the 
ones who left no mark behind them in passing away; while 
we — that is, I and my compeers — went out and conquered 
the world, and by our brave, heroic, noble and enduring 
unselfishness and faithful acts can look back — from 1904 — 
and see what no ten thousand generations of men who have 
lived, or may have lived since the birth of Adam, have lived 
to see in the way of advancement of all that is noble and grand 
and enduring in science and art, inventions and improvements 
and all that brings man nearer his Creator, in the image of 
whom he was created. We boys of the seventies and eighties 
of winter-marks can point back and say, "There is our record," 
and with no small pride say, "If you would know more of us, 


look around you." And if in bidding farewell to the world 
you would be able to say that you left it better than you found 
it, go ye and do likewise, and, like us, plant without pay or 
the prospect of profit if you but know that in planting others 
are to come after you and enjoy the fruits of your labor. 

It is my belief that there never lived a race of people, or 
any section of any race of people, that ever had such cause to 
be thankful to their Creator and prouder of themselves, than 
we, the first and second descendants of the founders of this 
great government of liberty, have reason to be; and also 
cometh our ever present adoration and gratitude, love and 
remembrance of those who made it possible for us to do what 
we have done, by and from the foundation of a government 
for the people and by the people, of human liberty and rights 
that all might enjoy alike, and of a protection which said to 
the man who had brains in that line, Go thou and invent, and 
thou shalt have the reward of thy inventions; and to the 
planter, Go thou and plant, and thou shalt have the reward 
of thy reaping; and to the builder, Go thou and build, and 
thy house shalt be thy castle; and to the preacher, Go thou 
forth and preach, and according as thou teachest so be it unto 
thee for weal or for woe. This Government of ours has 
rewarded every man in proportion to his ability and honest 
integrity, and it is only the ungrateful and the dullard and 
the laggard who has not participated in its great benefits, 
blessings and endowments. 

My early religious training has been referred to before. 
This training was of a dual character. Dad was an O. S. P., 
who believed in infant damnation and the elect, aye, long 
before birth, and, of course, of which he was one, and there- 
fore as king, prophet and priest to all under his power. Of 
course the king, the prophet and the priest could do> no harm 
or wrong, and therefore was immune from all such as measles, 
whooping cough, smallpox and yellow fever and anything in 


the way of the devil's temptations and trials. On the other 
hand, my mother was a good old W. M., who with their 
doctrine and belief made it possible for any one toi get there, 
and put me as a boy to> thinking, "Well, how will you get on 
and how will you get off?" 

One seemed to say: 

"You'll be damned if you do and you'll be damned if you don't, 
You'll be damned if you will and you'll be damned if you won't, 
You'll be damned if you can and you'll be damned if you can't, 
You'll be damned if you shall and you'll be damned if you shan't;" 

While the other seemed to say to me : 

"There is a fountain filled with blood, 

Drawn from an Emanuel's veins ; * * * 

The dying thief rejoiced to see 
That fountain in his day; 

And there may I, though vile as he, 
Wash all my sins away." 

If a boy raised under these conditions failed to have any 
religious convictions, it was not because the foundation was 
not there for him to start on. 

I might as well tell it now as to let it crop out against me 
hereafter, that from my earliest infancy I was considered the 
black sheep of the flock and so treated, especially by the old 
man, who found in me one who wanted to know the why and 
the wherefore and the "thisly of the thusly" in all matters and 
questions that either related to> my future or with the inter- 
ference of my present peaceful, restful attitude. 

I never believed in doing anything until it was necessary to 
be done, and never starting at the job until after having thor- 
oughly considered all the points bearing on its conclusion at the 
least possible expense of manual labor, and especially at the 
expense of money already in the bank. From my earliest rec- 
ollection I saw fools fooling away their time, doing some- 


thing, spending strength and energy, that could not possibly 
bring them any returns. I have seen men in my day come 
forth with their millions of money, "which they had aired,' 1 
of course, and throw it away, just as I have seen Jack Wilson 
make an ox of himself by handling logs, clearing up ground 
that would not sprout black-eyed peas or raise buckwheat after 
he had cleared it off. 

I well remember hearing the old Hard-shell Baptist min- 
ister tear off his sermons at the Reynold's schoolhouse, where 
he orated once every moon and Brother MeGill orated the 
other moon, Methodist fashion. And then how the Dunk- 
ards held forth, when no* man orated, only as the spirit moved. 
And how from hearing these different people out in the coun- 
try talk in the schoolhouse, as well as from hearing the O. S. P. 
"Doctor" talk from the high pulpit toi the high-backed pews, 
ever less than one-half filled, that I became very much con- 
fused in my early theological professions, the more and more 
that I, as a boy, thought of the different propositions, the 
more and more I became convinced of /hypocrisy, and the 
more I became convinced of the true light, that the truth was 
more powerful than the king, man, wine or woman, and that 
he who would ask for more light, and be governed by its 
shedding and would live by the truth jthat that light gave 
forth, would stand nearer that great Architect and Giver of 
all good than would any caterwauling, hypocritical sycophant, 
who, like a pauper and a beggar, was ever asking, forever 
begging and praying for more and never giving thanks for 
anything; while he who thanked or was truly thankful for 
the little favors received, larger favors and blessings were 
showered upon him as the years roll around. 

It has been my firm religious belief that the great God 
who ruleth all and made all has no rewards for the praying 
mendicant, no more than I have for the lazy beggar and 
pauper who comes to my door time and again; but that 


that great Creator has reward here on earth for him who re- 
turns thanks and asks himself Where shall I spread it that 
I may show yet my greater thankfulness? These are the 
people who have made the world what it is in the last fifty 
years. These are the ones who have never stopped to> ques- 
tion as to what the harvest would be, but they sowed and 
toiled and reaped to be rewarded greatly. 

I shall never forget, though my name be used in the Good 
Book instead oi Methuselah's because of my great age, my 
first show, or rather P. T. Barnum's first exhibition in west- 
ern Michigan with Tom Thumb. Why the old man got so 
good as to' allow me to> go* to that show I never knew, and 
he never knew one-half of what I found out, or of the 
thoughts it gave me to think of when I was out in the field 
hoeing corn, feeding the hogs or digging the potatoes. 

This show was an inspiration to* me. It was a whole 
schoolhouse, academy and college combined, and told me 
more than any person on earth ever learned from reading 
Rollins' Ancient History, Plutarch's Lives or the nine big 
volumes of Scott's Commentaries on the Holy Bible and New 
Testament, and was a greater aid than mother's Watt's Hymn 
Book of good old W. M. meters in giving me the true light 
and telling me the truth. For there at this show I saw things 
as they were and as I have seen heaven on earth many times, 
and not as somebody described them to me. 

I went there a capitalist. I had twenty-five cents 
oif my own good money and a good brother-in-law gave me 
twenty-five cents extra, not thinking that dad's stingy old heart 
had been opened to the amount, and who) thought that I had 
only been allowed to go> to town that day with no spending 
privileges. Well, I took in two or three of the ten-cent side 
shows which were being ' 'barked" by loud-mouthed individ- 
uals, who, like many others whom I have seen in this world, 
painted the pictures bigger and better than my boyish im- 


agination admitted of being painted. However I was satis- 
fied in each and every case. When the big drum commenced 
to beat and the big show gate began to open and the lions 
commenced roaring and the tiger commenced howling and 
other big noises sounded from within, in the rush I forgot the 
ticket wagon and I think that this was the first time that I 
ever got something for nothing, and P. T. Barnum did not 
get my quarter. 

The elephants and the zebras were near the door as I went 
into the mammoth tent, which seemed to me to> be as big as 
our northwest cornfield in which I had been hoeing the day 
before in the hot sun. However, I made the circuit of the 
tent and took in everything. Nothing escaped my eye. I 
ran up against the clown and he funnied so funny that I just 
laid down on the ground and laughed and felt good all over 
and was glad that I was a boy and was there. And then 
I took in Tom Thumb playing the part O'f Napoleon, and the 
man who had no arms and played the fiddle and opened big 
jackknives and threw them 1 out to the farmer boys and who 
cracked walnuts and did many other things with his toes that 
others could not do 1 with their hands. 

And then I ran up against the lemonade man, and if I 
had ever heard of lemonade or the name I had forgotten 
it, and to hear that man — his voice still rings in my ears — 
"Oh, ye farmer boys! Bring up your best gal, here, for a 
glass of this ice-cold lemonade. Made a thousand feet under 
ground, where it is lighted by diamonds, drawn up in golden 
buckets hung on silver chains, and here I give it tot you in 
golden cups at only three cents a cup!" Well, as might be 
expected of a capitalist like myself, of course I had to try the 
lemonade. But I espied a young man who had recently come 
to our neighborhood, named Hank Harris, who had in tow 
Miss Liza Reynolds and her little sister Frances, whoi soon 
thereafter and forever towed him. Hank yanked his gal up 


and asked for a glass of the beverage, with which went a 
small-sized cake, a little larger than my two-cent copper piece. 
Hank took a sup and Lize took a sup and Frances took a sup 
and still there was some left, which Hank finished and, smack- 
ing his lips, said: "It is a perfect imposition! It is one-half 
water !" 

This set me to questioning that investment, for early in 
life I abhorred "watered stock" or dilutions or substitutions 
of any sort. 

The pleasures of my boyhood days were few, but they 
were great and lasting. The first that came was the sugar- 
making season. Each tree was tapped by chopping a deep 
notch slantwise in it and a spike was inserted which conveyed 
the sap to a trough made by splitting a basswood log a foot 
or more in diameter and scooping it out with an adz as a canoe 
would be made. This trough — the sort which was my 
cradle — was put under the spile and we boys and the young 
men had to collect the sap night and day, while the men and 
women attended to the boiling of the kettles, which were set 
on the range, all of which was hard work. But the fun came 
in when the boiling off season commenced. This was when 
the molasses or syrup was boiled down to sugar and when 
the young folks collected and made molasses candy, as it would 
be termed in these days, the stretching or pulling of which 
was fun which had no equal in all the country round. 

This job over, the next would be when it came to making 
cider, apple butter and having apple-paring bees. Then it 
was that the young folks came together again and the sound 
of merriment and joy and pleasure was heard in all the land. 
Then came the corn husking, and finally, as a wind-up to the 
season's joys, harvesting, reaping and threshing and the hog- 
killing time, and with it soon after the joyous Christmas 
times, for then, not as now, Thanksgiving Day was not much 


Between hard work and sound sleep the boys of those days 
had but little time to go together, except on Sundays, when 
we met at the local schoolhouse to hear some "sky pilot" ex- 
patiate on the beauties of a land and its inhabitants that we 
know not more of than about the man and his wife in the 
moon, and to tell us of that which no one could dispute. 
Those who believed were unable to dispute anything. 

The boys who- went to' school had a good time, but my 
old dad thought he had wisdom, knowledge and schooling 
enough for the whole family, who in his estimation needed 
only to know the three R's. He thought the same way about 
religion, but I thought different on both subjects, and for why 
I got another black mark. And because he thought as he 
did and taught as he did I took the contrary side on the ques- 
tion, and for why I am what I am and where I am. 

I never in all my life had time enough to attend to other 
people's business. As a general proposition I had enough 
to do to attend to my own and I had so» much to attend to that 
I had to rely upon the aid and assistance of others who have 
often betrayed me, who were often incompetent and who were 
often absolutely unworthy of any sort of trust, else I might 
have had some wealth today and not be compelled to travel 
about this country in a common Pullman sleeping car, except- 
ing on extraordinary occasions a drawing-room. Yet, not- 
withstanding, nevertheless, I have been able to get there when 
I wanted to go, and it never was from the advice, free counsel, 
aid or assistance of any one else that I was able to do so. 

Good counsel and good advice is a great, grand, good thing 
to take, but unless you have very good brains and your com- 
pass box is right and can never be made to point wrong, you 
will not be able to know which the good advice is. I have 
often been given as much good advice as the common run of 
bad boys, and I have listened to it as little as any good, sensi- 
ble boy would. I have found that these are the people who 


are always carrying coals to their own bins, and who listens 
to them sooner or later finds himself in the condition of the 
boy who was going to school and who> met an old man with 
a scythe blade who stopped him and told him that he was "a 
good-looking boy, he was, and a nice boy, he was," and after 
asking him his name told him that he remembered him and 
that he had heard so many nice things about him and other- 
wise cajoled the boy into turning a grindstone while he ground 
his scythe blade at the boy's muscular expense and great 
labor — (did you ever turn a grindstone?) — then turned upon 
the boy and said: "Now, you little truant, you, run with all 
your might to school or I will see that your teacher gives you 
a trouncing for being late." 

I never had but one such as this played on me and I have 
never forgotten the Quaker's saying that "If a man fool thee 
once it is his fault; if twice it is thy fault." 

Whenever I have undertaken to> attend to> other people's 
business I soon found myself in more business of an unpleas- 
ant nature than I could conveniently cast off. I once found 
myself in the condition of the honest Dutchman, having agreed, 
like him, to be the arbitrator between two neighbors having 
a dispute, both threatening law. I was then a much younger 
man than I am now and had more confidence in myself than 
I Have now. The neighborhood all congregated and I took 
my seat as judge, umpire and arbitrator. After hearing one 
side I was ready to* give judgment; but when I heard both 
sides, like the Dutchman I was prepared to say, "Now who 
gives shugment, I vants to* know?" 

Other people's perplexities have always been greater than 
my own, because by thought and deep meditation, coupled 
with a desire to> do right in all cases and even meet more than 
on the half-way point, I could solve and settle my own dif- 
ferences and troubles, but not those of others, for I have found 


man a most unreasonable creature, imbued with such selfish- 
ness as to becloud his seeing the rights of others. 

The first book I ever remember having read was "Weems' 
Life of Washington." It filled my very young soul with 
patriotic impulses, as it never failed to do to and with all others. 
After having read it through, little snatches at a time, I was 
asked by one of my neighbors which part of it I liked best and 
I quickly told him, "That part where Washington was of- 
fered a crown and refused it." 

This came from my natural inborn hatred to all kinds of 
monarchs, despots and tyrants, and for why to this day I love 
the honest, outspoken, free and noble American citizen. 

My father was an old man when I was born; my mother 
not a young woman. He had practically raised and set off 
a family of older children before I came into the world to make 
trouble. The former he had given a good education and such 
advantages as the schools of the day were able to give. In 
1853 he became very much incensed at the tax laws and what 
else I need not mention, and resolved upon going to Texas. 
Having about the best property there was in that section of the 
country, he was not long in disposing of it to a man who four 
years before had been his chief wood chopper and rail split- 
ter, named Calvin Blake. Blake and his three grown up 
boys came to my father's house in '48, I well remember the 
time and place, and told him that they were going to Cali- 

At losing such a good servant the old man became very 
much incensed, but it did not interfere with, Blake's going. 
In September, 1853, a few days after the old man had adver- 
tised his holdings, my mother and I saw Blake and his three 
boys coming down the lane to the house, and she called my 
father out. I remember hearing the old man say, "They've 
come back again and after a job and I won't let them have 


it. They were not governed by my advice and I won't give 
them a job. They'll have to hunt somewheres else." 

The old man received them blindly, as he was capable of 
doing, for he had that divine power that St. Paul speaks of : 
"Be ye able to be unto all men all things at all times." 

After the Blakes had been seated he commenced pumping 
them about their trip to California and back, at which he made 
slow progress, for the Blakes were like clams on all subjects 
they know anything about or should have known anything 
about and never thought of anything they cared nothing for. 
After the old man had about exhausted his patience and time in 
trying to find out something, Blake said: "Doctor, I see 
that you have advertised your place for sale and I would like to 
know what your price is." 

Whereupon the old man replied: "It would be of little 
interest to you." 

"Well," said Blake, "some men came back with me who 
want to buy a place like yours." (He referred to his sons.) 

Dad said, "Well, well, whoever buys my place must buy 
my other property and take all of my holdings in the State 
of Michigan and pay spot cash down," and gave the figures. 

"How much money do you want as earnest money to close 
the bargain?" 

"Five thousand dollars," old man Noel replied. 

Whereupon he was told to draw up a receipt for that 
amount, and in less time than it takes to tell it five thousand 
dollars of new, pure, lately coined California gold was stacked 
up and he was told that the balance would be at the bank in 
the town as soon as he could make the deeds out. 

"To whom shall the deeds be made?" 

"To Calvin Blake!" 

Old dad waked up to the realization of a changed condi- 
tion, for from being a wood chopper and rail splitter Calvin 
Blake was the richest man in all southwest Michigan. Oft- 


times I have thought of this deal and the man who> made it, 
and ofttimes I have thought of how Calvin Blake was not 
going to get a job and of how the other man got done out of a 

The price named was about one-third more than the old 
man really would have sold for. I never believed that up 
to that time he ever intended to sell, though I, a boy, like all 
other boys, was keen to travel and wanted him to sell. Blake 
got the p'lace and with it all the stock and everything else that 
the old man owned, including notes, mortgages, etc., and what 
was always the most interesting part to me, he got ninety 
acres of wheat which I had planted and drilled in myself. 
With the place went the three years' crop of wheat in the bins 
and two years' crop of oats and corn shelled and stored away. 

We left Michigan for Texas on the twenty-third day of 
November, 1853. Early in 1854 the Crimean War was de- 
clared. The wheat in the bins was sold for $1.75 per bushel, 
and wheat which we had planted and which Blake harvested 
was sold for $2.25 per bushel, corn, oats and hay at a propor- 
tionately large advancement, which realized enough to> pay 
for the entire place and all that belonged thereto 1 , since there 
were four thousand bushels of wheat which Blake got on a 
basis of forty-one cents per bushel. 

When Blake closed the contract with the old man, then 
his mouth opened and his tongue loosened up and he could 
outtalk a New England maid. This was a great lesson to me 
through life, and I never had a piece of property, house or 
anything else to sell but that I wondered if Russia was going 
to get into' another difficulty. 

If you have read this far in my book I can promise in ad- 
vance that you will read further. From now on my life com- 
mences, and I propose to tell of «its first lessons and achieve- 
ments and failures as well, and to tell of it in such a way as 
to be more instructive, possibly, than interesting, for I want 


my reader to understand that I am not writing this book and 
going to the great expense of having it published for any self- 
glorification or laudation, but with a view to* benefiting those 
who may read it, and especially the young man whom it may 
cause to think. I cannot write of my own acts and deeds as 
I could of another's, and I feel myself unable to do the sub- 
ject justice without putting in a considerable amount of 
egotism, do the best I may to prevent it. 

I am not going to give you any blood-and-thunder, Indian 
painted, scalping, romance lies, but I am going to> narrate to 
you things as they were and as I saw them, both as relates 
to matters of business, war, science and all questions on in- 
ternal improvement as well as infernal rascalities. I feel that 
in one sense I am competent to do justice on this score, for 
there lives not a man on earth today — or woman either — to 
whom I owe one cent of a debt that I cannot pay a million 
for; that there has never lived on earth, a man — or woman 
either — to whom I owe or ever, owed one iota of gratitude for 
any acts of kindness of any sort of nature whatsoever but that 
I have paid, not with compound interest, but with double prin- 
cipal. And there lives not a soul on earth today for whom 
I have other than kind feelings ; and yet I have had in my days 
some notable enemies, and some more than common, men of 
the common sort who, like chaff, always went with the win- 
ning side or the way the wind blew. 


In going to Texas in November, 1853, we arrived in Chi- 
cago at four o'clock in the morning, coming in on a long tres- 
tle-work through Lake Michigan to reach the foot of Ran- 
dolph street, which is now all settled and has been for many 
years. Where that trestle stood now stands great sky-scrap- 
ping business buildings. We took breakfast at the Sherman 
House, which is still doing business at the old stand — my first 
in a first-class hotel where meals were served in courses. I 
shall never forget how I thought, "Well, is this all we are 
going to get?" 

We left Chicago at seven-thirty in the morning on the 
Rock Island Railroad, whose terminus was at La Salle, 111. 
One train down and one train back per day, freight, passen- 
ger, baggage and mail, all pulled by one engine, which today 
has no counterpart in existence, which today would compare 
with the Mogul pulling this train that I am now traveling on 
as this is being dictated, as a monkey might be compared to 
a big mule both as to size and in strength. It took two* fire- 
men to fire that engine, an oiler and an engineer, and Mr. 
Czar of Russia could not put on more airs than that engineer 
did, while the conductor of the train was bejeweled and be- 
dabbled with all sorts of pewter, brass and copper plates. We 
children thought that they were immense. 

Chicago was then but a small town of which I saw but 
little, for we children were all anxious to see the great ' Illi- 
nois Prairie and Mount Joliet in the Distance," which was 
the title of a picture in our newly acquired school geography 
and atlas, from which we expected to< see something similar 
to the mountains mother had described to us as having crossed 



in coming from where our big oysters now come. Mount 
Joliet proved to be about forty feet high, two or three hun- 
dred feet wide and a quarter of a mile long and of sand and 
small pebbles. No man traveling over the same ground to- 
day can see a vestige of a sign of Mount Joliet. 

The Illinois Penitentiary is not far from there and Joliet is 
a great, thriving city, noted for its barbed wire fence factories. 
I have lately and very often since traveled over this same Rock 
Island Railroad. Now, instead of one train each way, there 
are upward of one hundred freight and passenger trains. In- 
stead of one track there are two all the way and four part of 
the way. Instead of only two engines this system now has, I 
am told, three thousand four hundred and twenty-six. In- 
stead of ninety miles of track this system now counts more than 
nine thousand miles. And when I look back and see that it 
is I and my compeers and associates who have brought about 
this great change — incomprehensible to but few, and they jonly 
who travel and see things grow and change, and grow and 
change with what they see 1 — why should I not be proud of the 
company which I have been keeping for the more than half a 
century ? 

My boys and their associates and compeers will have to 
look up in the air as they are already looking down in the 
ground by means of the tunnels and excavations they are 
making under the great cities. Methinks what a pleasure it 
will be to> live in this world fifty years hence if its improve- 
ments continue apace and keep abreast with those of the last 
fifty years. 

I am riding in an elaborately equipped Pullman palace car, 
pulled by an engine capable of making seventy miles an hour, 
on a train composed of fourteen other parlor mansions on 
wheels such as this one is, and I am crossing a desert in south- 
ern Arizona at the rate of sixty miles an hour that I crossed 
forty years ago on a jaded horse at the rate of two and one- 


half miles an hour. Oh, what a change and what a pleas- 
ure it is to me to realize it in this substantial way! Then it 
would have taken me three long months to' have heard from 
my folks. This morning at six-thirty I started a message and 
in less than one hour I heard from the loved ones at home. 

Forty years ago* I first drank the waters of the Rio Bravo 
Grande del Norte, which the" first Spanish explorers of this 
country reported to* their king as the greatest river flowing 
from the mountains of the North to the great Gulf of the 
South, and I remember having seen an ancient map illustrat- 
ing it as being much larger than the Mississippi. At that 
time my lips, parched from; thirst, were quenched at where 
afterward Fort Quitman was placed and one hundred miles 
south of what is now known as El Paso. This river was then 
three-fourths of a mile wide at that place and continued that 
wide with but little variation to Santa Fe and above. It fur- 
nished water for the irrigation of millions of acres of land. 
Tomorrow I will cross it at El Paso where it is confined to> the 
limits of a sluice box o>r drain that would not relieve an ordi- 
nary Louisiana swamp of its overflow. 

The water has been taken out by the people on the upper 
streams and tributaries of the river in Colorado' and even 
above until there is none left to make glad the thirsty valleys 
where once grew the largest grapes, the largest pears, the 
largest crops of wheat and the largest onions that were ever 
grown on earth. Like the race that produced them — the Mex- 
icans — it has passed away. They are passing away, leaving 
behind them little that the Anglo'-Saxon and the true American 
shall ever have occasion to> honor o<r remember. 

We left La Salle on the Illinois River, a stern-wheel 
steamer, for St. Louis. The we consisted of dad, mother, 
an older brother, a younger one, two* younger sisters and my- 
self, all of whom had a burden to bear, for in that day the 
bank bills of one State would not pass in another — these were 


good old democratic days of State rights — and we each had 
to carry our portion of old man Blake's California gold, which, 
did I state the weight of it, some would question and others 
doubt, and thus my honesty be brought into question early in 
my history. 

The Illinois River was then what it is now, since the Chi- 
cago Drainage canal pours into it. Lake Michigan waters at 
the rate of little less than one million gallons per hour, but 
not like it, has been since 1853, when the water was so> low as 
to give good ordinary sized catfish trouble in navigating it. 
I get it from a State Fish Commissioner that in 1872 the Ger- 
man carp were planted in the Illinois River at Peoria, and for 
eight or ten years nothing was heard from them, but that for 
the last four years they have been a source of profit aggregat- 
ing two> hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars per year to 
the fishermen. Like eating grapes, eating carp to* like them is 
an acquired taste, and I would advise my friends not to> try to 
acquire the taste, but to eat mud suckers and turtles instead. 

We were four days and nights in getting to* St. Louis on 
our stern-wheel steamer, which had stops to> make at every 
bend in the river to take on and put off freight and people. 
And such people and such freight as I never before saw, but of 
which I have seen millions since ! St. Louis of those days was 
not the St. Louis of today. Then there was eighteen miles 
of river front, both sides, against which there were tied steam- 
boats and floating craft, often three deep, the outside one un- 
loading over the other two. These boats plowed the waters 
of all the streams, rivers, rivulets and tributaries that flow into 
and make the mighty, muddy Missouri, and it, aided by such 
tributaries as the Ohio, making the mighty Mississippi which 
flows on to the Gulf. 

So for thirteen hundred miles we steamed down from St. 
Louis to New Orleans, taking thirteen days to make it on a 
United States fast dispatch boat, that, of course, had to stop at 


every postoffice and take on and take off live and dead freight 
of all imaginary sorts, including cattle, hogs, horses, mules, 
chickens, ducks, geese, etc., while the boat would stop for 
anything. There were no» postal cards in those days, or I sup- 
pose the boats would have stopped for them. 

The Mississippi River of those days was not the Missis- 
sippi River of today. The commerce that in those days floated 
on its broad bosom finds other ways to the markets and to 
the seas than by being floated down by steamers or by rafts 
mostly. And now comes my time to tell what a raft was and 
how it was made — this not for the benefit of the few old men 
like myself whoi know, but for the boys. However, a little 
looking backward will do no harm. 

In order toi describe this properly we will locate ourselves 
somewhere on a little stream emptying into the Wabash River 
in Indiana. We will say that there are fifty of us farmers who 
have corn and wheat and oats and hogs and chickens and 
turkeys and apples, dried and green, and hoop-poles and pump- 
kins. We all get together and cut down great big oak trees 
that will square three by three feet, and we hew them, out forty 
or fifty feet long and plug them and pin them together on the 
low ground in the summertime and fall of the year, and when 
all around is dry. We put ten or fifteen of these side by side 
and then we put four or five or six upon the side of the same 
sort and dimensions, and then we fill up the ends. Then we 
commence to collect our effects — like old father Noah, only we 
do not take them in by pairs — and then we get together and 
elect a captain, and we pick out the proper young men to go 
with him, and when our flatboat is well filled up and the rains 
commence coming down and the creeks commence coming 
up, away we float and down we go on the old Ohio and at 
Cairo we strike the Mississippi, Oh! and down and down we 
go with a little light in front, and one in the* rear. Jim at 
the oar four hours in turn, and at the spring flowing season 


we are so thick on the river that steamboats have a bad time 
pulling around us or pushing through us, going up stream. 

It is a long fleet but a jolly one, and the refrains of the 
songs sung by the float from away up the Ohio, or those from 
the head waters of the Missouri or from the Illinois or from 
the Cumberland and the thousand other smaller tributaries, is 
soon picked up by our Wabash Indian crew, and loudly ring 
the songs both day and night, which here commingle as does 
the waters of the mighty rivers that make the mighty stream. 
There is constant badinage day and night, such as: "Hello, 
Brownie !" by reason of their boats being painted brown with 
their native clay. "Where from ?" 

"Yellow Forks of Roaring River up Rogue's Hollow," or, 
"Paradise Valley in the land of plenty," or similar names of the 
localities from which they came, never giving the correct ones. 

"What loaded with?" 

"Fruit and lumber." 

"What sort?" 

"Hoop-poles and pumpkins." 

"Got any apple jack?" 

"Naw, but if you have we will trade you some pure 'Oh 
be joyful' for that or 'Old Flat,' " meaning tobacco which 
has been pressed out in plugs as we see it nowadays, a trading 
trick that the Indian Hoosier was the first to get on to. 

Now, understand you that there is not one ounce of weight 
on all of this boat or in it or of the boat itself but that is of 
great value, and which is going to sell for a big price down in 
New Orleans. 

When we went down in November of 1853 we were never 
out of sight of these rifts, and we were told that they were 
much thicker in the springtime flow when the waters were 
high in the up creeks from the melted snow. The float would 
be met at from fifty to one hundred miles from New Orleans 
by buyers. The competition was so great' that good prices 


were always realized, and there was an honor among the 
traders of the day which begat confidence, and everything was 
bargained for and sold before New Orleans was seen and a 
certain colored flag was put up on the southeast corner of the 
flat that the tugboat belonging to the owner, the man who 
had bought it, might come out and bring it to the lan/Iing, 
where the Indiana boys were met by the cashier, who paid 
them in gold and silver for their cargo. It was often the case 
that the boat itself was worth more than the entire cargo, for 
then as now there was great demand for oak lumber of all 
sorts and building lumber of any sort. 

New Orleans was very different from the New Orleans 
of today. It required twenty-seven miles of river front for 
its wharfage and at many places the boats were three and four 
deep. There was more business done then in the City of New 
Orleans in one day than there is now being done in one month, 
or perhaps three of them, in the way of its being done by the 
people. I have seen steamers unloading three or four thou- 
sand bales of cotton, which all had to be drayed to the com- 
press and from there again down to the ocean steamers which 
took it abroad. I have seen more doing in one day on the 
principal levee in New Orleans than is now done in the most 
active part in a week. 

Modern New Orleans is in no sense what the New Orleans 
of fifty years ago was. Outside of the old French Quarters 
and the French Markets the changes have been wonderful. 
Where once one thousand or more steamers and ten times the 
number of flatboats could be seen, now you may count them 
on your hands. For I and my compeers have been working 
in this direction, as well as in others, and we have made it pos- 
sible by improvements and inventions and the building of rail- 
roads and tramways for one man to do what ten or thirty 
would do then. And what has become of the nine or 


twenty-nine we have been too busy to' stop to ask. They may 
be found along in the hovels cursing their fate. 

For two hundred miles above New Orleans on both sides 
of the Mississippi River there were sugar plantations after 
sugar plantations which produced from eight hundred and 
seventy-five to fourteen hundred dollars per hand, the hands 
being valued at from nine to twelve hundred dollars, though a 
good negro would bring as high as fifteen hundred dollars. 
From the top of our boats we could see over the levees, and 
the sugar mills in the distance, and never were we out of sight 
O'f orange, lemon and banana trees. 

New Orleans was a bower of blooming beauties, and orange 
trees and fig trees and such like tropical fruits. Today they, 
as well as the sugar plantations and the commerce of the 
mighty Mississippi, have all passed away. The climatic 
changes have been wonderful, but the political changes have 
been as great. New Orleans was the most metropolitan or 
cosmopolitan city on the globe at this time. On its streets 
might be met more people of more different parts of the globe, 
with different callings, trades, professions, avocations and 
labors, than in any other commercial city, we are told, on earth. 
It was here, on the Mississippi River, that the commercial 
gambler and the high roller lived, prospered and died, for he 
is not there now. 

It has been said that the highest stakes at cards that have 
ever been played were played here in New Orleans and on the 
Mississippi steamers. The average planter and his son were 
natural born gamblers as well as thoroughly educated, refined, 
polished, cultured gentlemen, who would ingratiate themselves 
in any good society. 

When I was a young man, soon after my first seeing New 
Orleans, I had formed the acquaintance, in the up-country in 
Texas, of a gentleman calling himself Col. Young, whom I 
took to be a New Orleans merchant or a Louisiana sugar 


planter, by the manner in which he threw himself around, 
loose-like. He invited me very cordially when I came to New 
Orleans to call and see him, and gave me his card, that he 
might be of some assistance to me. About the first thing I did 
was to hunt him up. I found his number. I saw several gen- 
tlemen going in, none coming out, so I followed through a 
spring trap-like door, entering an entry, and looking before 
me on the wall I saw in large six-inch letters : 


"Eat, Drink and Pay Nothing, 
Walk out and Say Nothing." 

I went through another trap door and entered a great din- 
ing-room and a negro came up to me and said : 

"Massa, what '11 you have to eat ? We have baked opossum 
and we have turkey." 

And he named all the costly foods of the day. I took my 
piece of turkey in order to be in keeping with others whom I 
was taking as guides, and after drinking a cup of coffee Sambo 
came up and said : 

"Now, Massa, will you join the gentlemen in de room?" 

The room in which I "joined the gentlemen" was fully 
sixty feet square if not larger. There were as many faro 
tables in there as could be placed, each seating about nine or 
eleven people. It was not exactly my first appearance in a 
gambling-room, so I sauntered around awhile but made no 
inquiries for Col. Young, who> I now found was a gambler's 
drummer who> traveled around as any other solicitor might, 
hunting for suckers. 

I found one stack of fifty-dollar gold pieces and it had in 
it five thousand dollars, and there were ten stacks of them * on 
that table. There were twenty-two stacks of double eagles, 
twenty-dollar gold pieces, and there were forty stacks of ten- 


dollar pieces. I saw no stacks of any less amount in gold 
and there were but two tables in the house that had any silver 
at all on them. I was told that it would infrequently be the 
case that fifty thousand dollars were stacked up on the turn 
of a card. I saw more grey-bearded men there than I did 
young men. There is no such sight as this to be seen in that 
city now ; yet that there is any amount of gambling going on 
there now there can be no question. 

Many years ago-, about 1851 or '52, if I have been cor- 
rectly informed, by voting all the boatmen and the lumbermen 
and raftmen and other sort of men that could be carried to 
the polls in the city of New Orleans, it was voted to widen 
Canal Street and to place in what was then about the center 
of it a monument of Henry Clay. The French population, 
like all of their race, and the Spaniards, in America as well 
as in their own country, were bitterly opposed to* all improve- 
ment, and especially to the widening of the street and the 
building of a monument to the greaj: American statesman. 

I was told that the erection of a monument to Andrew 
Jackson years before the above occurrence cost many lives in 
a riot raised by the French Creole people. I have been pointed 
out Frenchmen who have always lived on the French side of 
Canal Street, who have never crossed it and who would have 
disowned their children had they gone across it. And such ':s 
the case today. I think it is a good thing for the other part 
of the city that there is something to> keep them from dis- 
gracing it by their presence. And so will all say who have 
visited the French Quarters of New Orleans, which are iden- 
tical with those of the same class in Quebec, Canada. They 
live in poverty, squalor and want in houses made of brick 
mostly, filled and covered with filth, such as can be found in no 
other American city, not even Chinatown of San Francisco. 

You must not use the word "cagin," implying thereby that 
there is any nigger blood in the party to' whom you are talk- 


ing, any more than you must not speak in any way disrespect- 
fully of the Roman Catholic Church, unless you want to fill an 
unmarked grave by the stilletto route. Nor must you under- 
take to explore that part of either of these cities, no' more than 
you would the pagan Chinese quarters of San Francisco with- 
out a licensed guide. 

Over in this section there were three long streets given 
up to the social evil, and on which are many of the finest resi- 
dences in the city. Who> visits that section of the city takes 
his life in his own hands, and mind you, it is not a painted saint 
who is telling you this, 'but an up^-to^date all-around one, who 
has in his day seen all that there was in this world to see and 
feared nothing because he depended upon no one but himself, 
and who' "always went heeled" and who' kept his eyes and his 
ears opened and never poisoned his senses by liquors or other 
intoxicants, Dot you know, my friend, that there are worse 
intoxicants than liquor in this world? And that there is not 
a grog-seller on earth but that could if he would drug you with- 
out giving you liquor? 

In those days the average Southern society man was a great 
clown, a buffoon and a sycophant, very much as he is today. 
He was a plaything for the Southern lady, who was above her 
brother in every sense of the word, in beauty, in character, in 
good sense, sound judgment, honesty and true nobleness. The 
"lost cause" would not have been so reported to the world 
around had it been for the women of the South instead of the 
men. In these days of which I write it was the proper thing 
for the Northern man to be good looking", have good manners 
and a strong character, coupled with a natural bravery and 
brains, and to take up a school at so much per head per month. 
And he could just have his pick out of the flock of lambs 
around him. The most amiable ones were also the most 
wealthy planters' daughters. He soon became a planter in good 
shape, and no matter what his former ideas on the subject of 


slavery might have been, he also became a proslavery man 
and an uncompromising secessionist and "hooped it up" on 
that line extensively, but never went to- the war except in the 
band wagon, quartermaster's department or in some branch of 
the service which had no> fears of the battle-field. We will 
come along over these questions of battle-fields later on. 

From New Orleans we went to Galveston, which was then 
a city 6»f no small importance, but which never will be more 
than what she was when it was said that the great pirate buc- 
caneer La Fitte made it his headquarters. But for its storms, 
tornadoes and the plague visitations it might become a greater 
city than only that of a switching station and a transfer depot 
for the Southern Pacific Railroad. It surely is a delightful 
city to visit in the winter season. It has the finest beach, next 
to Atlantic City, on the face of the globe. It is a first-class 
place to keep away from unless you have lots of money, and 
if you have that and have not first-class sense you will not be 
able to get away from there with it although you had it when 
you came. In fact, coming right down to the plain, honest, 
old-fashioned, unequivocal truth, this applies to all of the big 
State of Texas, where in the last fifty years more good people 
have gone with their money to afterward go back tot their 
wife's folks in poverty or still live there in want. 

Fifty years ago and previous to that time and date, back 
possibly several hundred years, Texas was a great country. 
And it may be a great country again, but it has not been in 
my estimation in my day, and I know many great 
and noble people who have the same opinion of the country 
and climate. 

We settled at Seguin, which was, fifty years ago, a beauti- 
ful place surrounded by a beautiful country. It would be a 
foolish waste of time and money to put in cold type and print 
incidents connected with our family and my own history at 


this place, so we will cut across lots and get out of the woods 
as quickly as possible. 

The year 1854 was a very fruitful one. In 1855 the 
drought commenced, and for thirteen months we had no dews 
or pentecostal showers. The earth dried up and the grass 
dried up. The prairies were cracked in many places a foot 
wide and thirty or forty feet down. Stock died by the millions 
between the Colorado and the Rio Grande and the people 
moved out, and they who went never came: back. There was 
more wealth in the Guadalupe country fifty years ago twice 
over than there is now or ever may be again, counting negroes 
at New Orleans' slave pen prices. It is not in my power to 
so tell it as to be interesting to any great number of people, 
but I know that, should I tell the truth, those living in that 
section who may read these lines would become angry, for it 
has been my observation, which also 1 conforms to the observa- 
tion o-f many wise men who have gone before me, that the more 
poor the country the more loyal are its people. 

Take a city in the prosperous State of Iowa or Kansas, 
where the per capita bank account of each individual citizen 
is twice over greater than that of any other country on the face 
of the globe, and he takes no exception to> what you might say 
against his country, while the citizen of Texas or Georgia, who 
never had a bank account and who never possibly had 
a dollar ahead, will bristle up for a fight the moment he hears 
you say anything against the country in which he lives. I 
find this to> be the same with the poor, ignorant, down-trodden 
Mexicans and Cubans ; the latter, however, has a country which 
has no equal on the face of the globe in point of productiveness, 
while the former has nothing that man respects or values. 

The changes which have come over southwestern Texas in 
the last fifty years is another one of these "incomprehensibili- 
ties" to even the native, must less the man who has lived in 
the country for that length of time and has seen more wonder- 


fnl changes in its climate, productions and people. To illus- 
trate: In 1855 in two days' ride southwest from San Antonio 
I saw in droves of forty and fifty each, possibly as many as 
one hundred thousand, mustang ponies and as many more deer 
and fully as many long-horned Texas steers. Who has seen 
anything of this sort since? I saw from the range of moun- 
tains first west of the Rio Grande River, across a valley rang- 
ing from seventy-five to two hundred miles wide and three 
hundred miles long, in the middle of which now runs the Mex- 
ican Central Railroad, more deer and antelope and cattle at one 
sight than it would be prudent for me to number, but I be- 
lieve greater in number than all of the cattle in all the middle 
Western States, Today this valley is a barren desert, except 
ing in little spots hither and yon, like oases in a desert, around 
and on which may be seen a few cattle, but no game of any 
sort here or in the mountains. 

In 1853- and '54 the ore from all the mines of North Mex- 
ico was hauled to San Antonio, much of it on Mexican wooden- 
wheeled carts, where it was taken by American Texas team- 
sters to Port Lavaca and thence to* England for refinement, 
None comes that way now, and when I drive through the 
streets of this old city and think of what has occurred in the 
way of changes in my own recollection and time I can but 
wonder if the future has as great possibilities in it in the way 
of changes for good as the past has for bad. If it has, this will 
be a veritable paradise. 

The springs from whence flows the San Antonio River, a 
few miles north of the city, have all but dried up, and the flow- 
ing artesian wells furnish this element, which in turn may cease 
to flow. The old Missions at this place have no history of 
such droughts having ever occurred as have since 1854, and it 
may be, and it is to be hoped that .such will be, that the old, 
old time conditions of nature will reappear — I mean in the way 
of flowing springs, rivers, rivulets and brooks — and, if it 


does, then this will be a delightful country again as it was be- 
fore. The possibility of this being the condition is too great 
for me to advise any one to> go> there and wait for its coming, 
and in the meantime take what is there and has been for the 
past many years. 

There is a disappointment in store for my readers if he 
expects that I am going to tell o>f the different graveyards that 
I have started in Texas in my day, or that I even started one, 
or of the different Indian fights that I have been in and the 
number of Indians that I have killed. It was as much as I 
could do to keep from having one started by being planted 
myself, and when I was in the Indian country it kept me very 
busy keeping out of sight of any living Indians. They would 
be doing the killing act, and I would be in the other end of the 
game. I will illustrate my condition by giving a statement 
which I know to be true : 

A Col. W and a Gen. G , who were high rollers in 

their way concluded to run for Congress in their district. 
They both had started graveyards in their day, and it was 
well known by all the people. There was also a noted individ- 
ual, known all over Texas as f "Three-Legged Willie," who had 
had a foot shot off and a wooden stick put on at the knee, and 
thus acquired the sobriquet. His proper name was Judge 
Williamson. He was a great jurist and was eminently suc- 
cessful as a criminal lawyer, a wag and a joker, and when 
filled up with sufficient barley-corn to get up steam on or with 
he was a holy terror, but not dangerous unless some one made 
him believe that he was in a dangerous condition. "Three- 
Legged Willie" was what Sheridan Knowles would term "in 
peace a lamb, in war a lamb-er." 

Willie concluded to run for Congress against the Colonel 
and the General, and it was decided upon that there should 
be given a great barbecue, where the goat, and likewise the 
calf, the lambs, the pig, the roasting ear and corn pome should 

the south in the early fifties. 45 

be brought together, and all the good people of the district, in- 
cluding mothers and daughters and sons and small children 
and the maid-servant and the man-servant, should congregate 
and after eating all of these good barbecued meats, roasting 
ears and corn pomes, and drinking just as much good whisky 
as every man pleased, then at the sound of a horn they would 
congregate and listen to the candidates orate. 

The Colonel referred to the number of men the General 
had killed, never once intimating that he was a bad man there- 
for. When the General's time came to speak he referred in 
a very touching way as to the number of men the Colonel had 
killed. And thus the people were re-enlightened, and some 
of the widows, no doubt, had an opportunity to do- the mourn- 
ing act over again. It was getting late and along toward even- 
ing, for it seemed to have been understood between the Colonel 
and the General that they should talk "Three-Legged Willie" 
out of time or leave him no> time in which to tell of what he 
might have to say. Finally he gained the platform and said 
in substance — for neither Colonel, General or living mortal 
could sling such words to convey an idea or give a decision as 
Judge Williamson could: 

"Gentlemen and Ladies : You have heard these two gen- 
tlemen tell you about the graveyards that they have started in 
their day. Now I want you to remember and understand that 
I have as many to my credit and a few over !" 

And he sat down. The people commenced yelling, and it 
is said that there was only one vote recorded against Judge Wil- 
liamson in the district. This story may not have a point or 
moral to many o<f my readers, but it will be plain to all who 
understand me aright. 

Speaking of droughts in Texas reminds me of an occur- 
rence of which I know well. In the country of the Wacos the 
drought had been long and continued and the ground around 
was parched and dry. The Brazos River was dry and there 


was a pool of water in the Tewa Kana Hills north of Waco 
and another at Robinsonville, a few miles south. It was de- 
cided that all of the people, regardless of creed, should con- 
gregate at the Robinsonville pool and there petition Divine 
power for rain, in a proper and befitting manner. They came 
from long distances and in great numbers and it was said that 
no one was left at home because there was nothing left at home 
living that required attention. On the meeting ground there 
was no dissention; all was humiliation and contrition, even 
unto sackcloth and ashes. Prayers were started by first one 
and then another, and they were long and zealous and fervent 
and had been presented for many days, and yet the hot sun 
poured down on a famishing people its scorching rays and no 
relief seemed to develop in the way of clouds. 

It seemed that one or two parties had taken control of mat- 
ters and wrote the names of the prayer-makers on the bulletin 
board early in the morning. There was among the congrega- 
tion an old-school Hard-shell Baptist preacher; a man well 
along in years and of powerful physique and a voice that might 
have been equaled but surely not surpassed. He was a man of 
indomitable will power. He was a man of considerable wealth, 
owned several negroes on a fine plantation, and was the father 

of a very large family at home. Brother C was out of 

whack with the people for and by reason of what Brick Pome- 
roy termed ''clerical indiscretions." He had not been called 
upon to pray and could no longer stand the strain. He pro- 
cured a chunk of chalk — he was a good writer — rubbed out 
what was on the blackboard and wrote on it : 

"This is Brother C 's day to pray." 

At which all of the camp took a squint, and tongues began 
to wag and some were against going under the arbor, but 
finally better judgment prevailed and soon after the old horn 
sounded the seats were filled and the ground was all covered 
Brother C commenced. 


(I have always wished that I could tell such as this and 
use the party's actual words, but I cannot and I do> not be- 
lieve a man ever lived who could have used Brother C 's 

words at this time. I propose to only give a synopsis. ) 

"Almighty God, Thou knowest the wants of us, Thy men- 
servants and Thy maid-servants, and we need not be telling 
you. We have come on this ground to show Thee our pen- 
itence and how badly whipped we feel and how willing we are 
to thank Thee for past blessings and prepare ourselves to> thank 
Thee for the blessings Thou art going to give us in the fu- 
ture. Now, Almighty God, Thou knowest how we are suffer- 
ing down here, and we want you to come to our relief. We 
want you toi come with no little sprinkle or Pentecostal shower, 
but, Oh God in heaven, send down upon us an old-time, old- 
fashioned gully-washer and root-soaker, and be quick about 
it. Amen." 

And so said all the people who arose and beheld in the 
northwest a black cloud which rose higher and higher and 
in a few hours the rain that was falling was something terri- 
ble to behold and in a very short time not only the cracks of 
the earth were filled, the ravines and the gullies were washed 
out and the Brazos came rushing down overflowing its banks 
and there was water in all the land. There was great rejoic- 
ing and the rain continued and continued, and it was suggested 
that Brother C be importuned to have another "heart-to- 
heart talk" with Deity lest a second flood come. 


My friends who are really responsible for this book, who 
drove me to writing it, should bear with me in its many imper- 
fections, but as I know very well from past experiences they 
will not, I am preparing to take it all on my own shoulders, 
and, like the man wk> once thought he could insult me — he 
was drunk, and a drunken man cannot insult me — and who 
was making considerable noise in a berth opposite me in a 
sleeper and keeping me awake, upon my remonstrating said: 

"If you don't like my bacon you need not come to my 
smokehouse any more." 

At the age of about fourteen I concluded to go into busi- 
ness for myself and in another section of the State, for which 
the old man seemed to' be glad, for I had been a sore spot to' him 
for many years because of my general independence and the 
peculiar way I^had of cropping to myself. I know that he was 
delighted, because he gave me five dollars and a very fair rid- 
ing animal to go on. An older brother, who was about twen- 
ty-two, went with me, and he got no more than I did. We 
landed up with a contract to cut railroad ties down on Green's 
Bayou on the coast o<f souteastern Texas. We could cut and 
hew ties, but when it came to doing it for six and one-fourth 
cents apiece and then giving three cents to> have them landed 
where we could get our pay, and when the thermometer would 
stand at about one hundred and twenty in the woods, or rather 
in the swamps, and when it came to fighting mosquitoes both 
day and night, we resolved to jump the job. It was like the 
man who joined the Methodist Church on six months' proba- 
tion and declared that he had done so well that they let 

him out in less than one week. 



We sold our axes and camp outfit for less than one-half we 
had paid for them a few days before and headed our horses to 
a higher land in quest of a job that would pay better and be 
more lasting. We ran up against it in the Brazos River town 
where there was a man who had a contract to* furnish a large 
number of bricks to a builder, who> in turn had a contract with 
a rich planter to have the building completed against a cer- 
tain time, and we struck a job burning brick, and then we 
struck a still better one putting them into a chimney, and when 
we were paid off we were small-sized capitalists. 

We elected to buy a bookstore and newstands which one 
ran while the other went out selling to the people and drum- 
ming up customers. The climate was too much for him, and 
my brother sickened and died, and was buried before I could 
get back from where I was. In fact he was buried before I 
heard of his sickness. This brought on me, or brought to me 
a great change, for I had placed great confidence in his judg- 
ment and his ability. We had never been separated and no 
ordinary tie bound us together. I launched out into' other 
enterprises, leaving a boy toi attend to the store while I went 
after bigger game. I quit the business when the railroad quit 
the town, and became, so to say, a "floater." I had made 
money and had acquired a reputation. 

About this time the question of secession became so rife 
that every county in the State of Texas had a Committee of 
Public Safety, and in my town that Committee was composed 
of the twelve meanest men I had ever had any contact with 
in my life until they contacted with me. And now for an ac- 
count of my where-with-in. 

I took one hundred and twenty-five copies of Harper's 
Magazine every month. This Committee of Public Safety 
took every copy of the magazine for the month of September, 
i860, which contained a letter on "Squatter Sovereignty' , by 
the "Little Giant," Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois, and 


burned them before my store door, attracting a great crowd, 
a howling rabble. A few days thereafter I received twenty- 
four copies of Dabney's Southern Botany, which had been 
ordered by the professor of the academy in that place for a bot- 
any class he was starting. They took those costly volumes 
and burned them up in front of my door and then came in a 
body into my store and informed me in language more em- 
phatic, impressive and profane than eloquent and genteel, that 
if I got any mo>re of those abolition books and magazines 
they would fix me as Fike had been fixed. (Fike was a mur- 
derer whoi had been hung that spring. ) And they showed me 
a piece of rope which they said had been cut for my benefit. 

I tried to plead my case by stating the truth, but they said 
that the New York Day Book, which was taken by everybody 
in the South and sworn to by all, was all that was necessary. 
But, of course, it was a Yankee Democratic secessionist sheet 
which was oiut-Heroding Herod. I sold out my store at about 
twenty-five per cent, below cost and I left that part of the Lone 
Star State, and had I left the State entirely both I and the 
world would have been better off, but family ties kept me there. 

It was this same Committee of Public Safety who arrested 
two men, who were delivering Monk's Map oif North America 
to subscribers I had procured in the adjoining country, named 
Hughes and Parker. They had two> fine, large mules, and a 
good ambulance which had cost them eight hundred dollars 
in Houston only a few days previous. They had near four 
hundred dollars in cash. There was nothing which could be 
found against the men. O'ne was from Missouri and the other 
from Illinois. The mules and the ambulance were confiscated 
for the benefit of the public — the thieving Committee in par- 
ticular — and Parker and Hughes were taken to Galveston and 
put on a small brig which happened to be sailing from there 
to Baltimore. When they arrived North the papers were full 
of it, and many live today who remember the circumstances. 


Had I been in the town at the time I have no doubt but that 
I would have been hung, and possibly all three of us. The 
whole town got drunk on the ready cash. 

It was thirty years after this that I went through that town. 
There was not a member of this Committee but who died a 
disgraceful death. Not one of them was ever in the Confed- 
erate army. They were all, without exception, brutal, bar- 
barous, sneaking cowards. The world knows who Stephen A. 
Douglas was, but not a soul whoi lives can say the Harper's 
Magazine containing his article should have been burned by 
any class of people. Dabney, the author of the Southern Bot- 
any, was at that time Professor of the largest educational in- 
stitution in Alabama. He was boirn of royal blue blood. F. 
F. V. stock, and he was the Chief of Staff of the world-re- 
nowned and Confederate worshiped General Stonewall Jack- 
son. He was the author of the Life of Stonewall Jackson, 
a book of which no man ever read but to have been made the 
better thereby and therefrom. He died in Victoria, Texas, a 
few years ago, not only honored and loved, but respected and 
revered by every man, woman and child who* had ever come 
in contact with him. 

From having done unto> all as I would all should do to me 
I thought I had friends in this city of Richmond, Texas, but 
when the Committee of Public Safety talked as they did to 
me I thought it was time to quit, and never since have I ever 
calculated upon having any friends anywhere excepting the 
material out of which they are made — from bulk — and were 
duly run through the United States mint. And if I had one 
impression which I could burn on the tablet of the heart of 
every young man on earth today it would be this : 

"Have compassion. Depend only upon what you have to 
carry you through, and not on the promises of anybody. Keep 
your money, and it will keep you from all harm. It will make 
you brave and it will make you honest and it will make you a 


good citizen, and in old age you will be happy from 
being able to take care of yourself, ever bearing in mind that 
as long as you have the bone the dog will follow you. Drop 
it, and your bone and dog are both gone. 'Weep and you 
weep alone/ but laugh with a full pocket and a good stiff bank 
account, and the world will laugh with you and keep it up 
all night while you are sound asleep and your interest is grow- 

My trunk was packed for a long sea voyage and my passage 
was spoken for, but my heart failed me, for I commenced 
reasoning with myself, and whenever a man commences this 
he may set it down in advance that the devil is going to get 
the best of him, just as he did with me when from reasoning 
I changed my mind and became a soldier in a cause which 
was lost solely because its underlying foundation, corner rock, 
side structure and the key of the ark were all of an ilk and 
sort that composed the Committee of Public Safety in Fort 
Bend County, Texas. 

I have found it true in life, and not as respects myself 
personally but also all intimate friends who* have made life a 
success, that first impressions are the ones that should ever 
govern in all matters of business, and particularly and espe:- 
cially in affairs of the heart. Who stands by them will have 
less of grief in after life and moire of joy to> light his way than 
will he who 1 reasons with the devil, who< may always change 
his mind and lands the poor wretch on a desert or an iceberg. 

I often think of the fable of the man, the boy and the ass 
which they were driving, or rather leading. They met a man 
who said: 

"You old fool, why don't you ride that animal ?" 

Whereupon the man got upon the mule. Then they met 
another man who said : 

"You are a funny man, riding there and letting this boy 


walk behind. That ass is plenty strong enough to carry you 

And then up went the boy, and it was not long before down 
went the poor ass, and that is what they got for listening to 
other people. 

We are told, if not in the Divine Book then in some other 
good book, or perhaps it has been orally handed down to 
me, that "the road to hell is paved with good intentions," and 
I surely have found it so. 

When a boy, twelve years old, I had a good coon dog. It 
was not infrequent that I went out in the woods at night and 
I and Ring ( Ring was my dog) would come in with a couple 
o>f big coons whose pelts were worth one dollar and fifty cents 
each. It was my coon and pelt, but when it was sold it was 
dad's money. I acquired the reputation of being the best coon 
hunter there was in the country, which was challenged by a 
boy living some distance off, and in a way and a place where 
I could not resent it, being at a Sunday meeting. He was 
bragging on his dog more than on the coons he had killed. I 
blubbered out: 

"You show your coon skins; let that tell what sort of a 
dog you've got !" 

I have made it a rule through life to take no one's advice 
in any matter who had no- coon skins to' show. The poor but 
weir meaning mendicant who knocks at your door is as full 
of good advice as an egg is of meat. 

I went into the Confederacy because the devil persuaded 
me to believe that the proper thing for me to do* was to go 
with my people, right or wrong, to always go with the crowd. 
The devil fooled me that time. An old Quaker proverb says : 
"If a man fools thee once it is his fault, but if he deceives thee 
twice it is thy fault." 

The reason that the people of the South are so poor today 
is the reason of the devil. They still kiss the hand that smote 


them, the rod that struck them, the power that ruined them, 
and they hug that old monster villain as all people are apt to 
hug a delusion, snare and fraud. 

It was the old Democratic party and its leaders who not 
only robbed me of four years of the hardest service that a man 
ever put in, but robbed me and my neighbors and my friends 
of all that they had on earth in the way of property ; and still 
the people of the South kiss the hand that smote them. The 
man down there who questions another's Democracy is in 
danger of human wrath, and this reminds me of a speech I 
once heard before a jury where a man was being tried for 
having robbed a widow and her orphan of her dowry and 
its patrimony. He stood in a dazed condition before the jury 
for a moment, and then, springing forward, he said: 

"I have been in hell, where they were holding an election 
for Chief. The pirate of the high seas offered himself and 
told of his crimes. The robber of the land offered himself 
and told of his crimes, as did the red-handed murderer, where- 
upon this defendant before you rose up and said : 'Make me 
Chief of Hell, for I have robbed the widow and the orphan 
of their heritage.' And he was elected." 

And this stands in my estimation as good old-fashioned, 
honest secession Democracy, which still lives in the South, 
ready at any and all times to> rear its hydro head to down any 
cause that would benefit the South, crying "Negro equality," 
as though they were not the devils that brought it on the 

The same men who* led the cause which was lost continued 
to lead the party, and make it impossible for the better element, 
the old staunch Whig party, conservative, faithful, who never 
betrayed a trust, to come to< the front and in a measure at least 
help the people out of their difficulties. I have recently read 
a book entitled "The Leopard's Spots" — and my volume has 
been read by a great number of my friends — which treats of 


the days of reconstruction in the South, and in such a masterly 
way and truthful manner as to> challenge the admiration of 
every man who lives to remember that period, and who should 
read this book before he dies. The reading of this book served 
to remind me that the worst radical scalawags, villains and 
thieves the South had in the days of reconstruction were the 
very devils who were the loudest-mouthed secession shouters, 
who, like my Committee of Public Safety in Texas, evaded all 
service and especially that where danger offered. 

My first service was from Galveston in the McCloud expe- 
dition which went to the mouth of the Rio Grande River, 
Brownsville, to receive the surrender of the United States 
troops which had lined our frontier on the Rio Grande and 
had protected our State from invasion and the settlers on the 
frontier from Indians, and who- had been commanded to 
surrender without the firing of a gun by the General com- 
manding the District of Texas, namely, Twiggs. That is 
enough, for even the old copperhead secessionist sympathizer, 
James Buchanan, issued a proclamation branding General 
Twiggs as a coward and a traitor and dismissing him from 
the army of the United States with all the possible disgrace in 
the power of the President of the United States. 

It was in the month of April, 1861, that I stood in line on 
dress parade in the Fort Brown drill-ground, together with 
eight hundred other raw Texas troops that had been landed a 
few days previous on the same spot where Taylor's army 
landed, and who marched over the battlefields of Palo Alto 
and Resaca de la Palma, where patriots' blood had been shed. 
Standing in this dress parade on the banks of the Rio Grande 
River we viewed another parade on the other side of the river, 
which was that of the Mexican army. Four steamboats came 
puffing around the bend in sight of and for six miles in sound 
of us, all loaded down with United States dismounted dra- 
goons, dehorsed cavalry, artillerymen without cannon, and 


infantrymen without guns. It was, along about four o'clock 
in the evening ; the scene, the event, shall never become effaced 
from my memory. 

It was our band, by command of the great, big, brass- 
buttoned, hifalutin, pompous, big-I-little-you get-out-of-my- 
way-dog-private, General MeCloud, who 1 sought to insult the 
retiring representative of the United States Government by 
playing "Dixie." The band on the other side of the river took 
up the refrain and sent their most insulting song, to Texans as 
well as to the United States army, to the tune of "The Maid 
of Monterey." While the officers and soldiers were quietly 
passing between our two parades, some wag on board of the 
middle boat commenced singing: 

" Tis the song, the sigh of the weary : 

Hard times, hard times, come again no more, 
Many days you have lingered, around my cabin door; 
Oh ! Hard times, hard times, come again no more." 

In an instant there was not a voice on board either of the 
three boats, from the coal heaver in the furnace-room below 
to the pilot above, but was singing this refrain without the 
help of the band. They were on their way home to a land of 
plenty and peace from long years of hard times, trials and 
service, and well might they sing the songs they did. 

About this time a set of Southern renegades in California 
and Oregon raised the secession cry and sent assurance to 
the Confederacy — then in its swaddling clothes at Mont- 
gomery, Alabama — that if an army of Texans, three thousand 
strong, were sent to> Tucson, Arizona, that they would have 
ten thousand men there with all sorts of provisions, and that 
we would switch oiff down in and take Sonora, Chihuahua, 
Durango and Tamaulipas in Mexico' and add them to the 
Confederacy. Whereupon Mr. Jefferson Davis commissioned 
one H. H. Sibley — he of the Sibley tent fame, an old United 


States dragoon officer, who for many years had served in North 
Texas, Arizona and New Mexico — as a Brigadier General, 
and to raise three full regiments of cavalry in West Texas and 
proceed with all possible dispatch to meet these conditions and 
events as well as Californians, and to proceed forthwith with- 
out the loss of time or failure to swipe the whole thing. 

Now I had had some previous Indian experience and on 
the frontier, and it was a snap to get into the Sibley Brigade 
California deal, and being a desirable catch I had no difficulty 
in getting in "Gotch" Hardiman's Company A of the First 
Regiment, which was formed by Colonel Riley, a grand and 
noble man, and who fell at the head of his column at Irish 
Bend, near Franklin, Louisiana. O'f this I refer to later. 

It was not long before we and our squadron company took 
up the line o*f march to grow with the great Northwest, of 
which there were four thousand who followed our trail before 
the last of the brigade left San Antonioi. I believe that I state 
the truth with no> fear of contradiction when I say that three 
thousand five hundred of these men were the best that ever 
threw leg over a horse or that had ever sworn allegiance to 
any cause. All-around men, natural-born soldiers, they were 
under twenty-five, with a liberal sprinkling of older ones who 
had seen more or less service on the frontier. 

I was never sworn into the Confederate service. I enrolled 
as a scout and as one of special privileges, being a correspondent 
of the Richmond Examiner, New Orleans Picayune and Gal- 
veston News. There was little going on or liable to go on at 
headquarters, or, as for that matter, anywhere else close 
around, but that I knew more or less of and about, and there 
was no time but that I knew a great deal more than any one 
man in the command for a moment thought that I did, and. 
what is more, I knew that the less I knew when it came to 
talking to the common herd or with any of the upper crust, 


the better off I would be in the general round-up when all 
cattle had to be branded. 

The first difficulty that I got into was with two blow-hard 
secession cowards, who, knowing somewhat of my position, 
but of no rank, interviewed me much as did the Committee 
of Public Safety, to learn of my views as to> the possibility of 
our being able to reach New Mexico before the war ended, 
and did I think that the Yankees were really going to fight, 
and didn't I believe that any good Southern man could whip 
four or five Yankees any time, anywhere? I answered them 
very briefly, and time proved that I told them the truth only 
in a measure, for I thought that there was more real backbone 
in the South than I found to be the case, and I calculated upon 
the war lasting at least eight years. One of these men said : 

"If I thought as you do, I would cross the Rio Grande 
River tonight and go' to Mexico." 

I only said, "No doubt you would." This worthy will be 
referred to again when I get to telling of the Federal retreat 
from Alexandria, Louisiana. 

The next difficulty that I got into was the telling the officer 
in command that I had interpreted a Concho Indian sign, which 
means a sign which could be read and interpreted by the four 
great Southwest tribes of Indians, the Comanche, the Apache, 
the Gila and the Pawnee, and which sign read : "A joint 
enemy approaches." 

I knew that every Indian warrior within a radius of twelve 
hundred miles knew that that night eight hundred armed Texas 
Rangers would camp on the Rio Grande River at Fort 
Quitman. I never in my life had been turned down by any 
person as that commander turned me down, and in language 
used by his sort, and which I largely afterwards acquired from 
dealing with his sort and driving mules. He told me to> attend 
to my own business and to go back to my tent and not be 
volunteering information to 1 him. I found out that night 


before going to bed that he was drunk on Kummel, a Dutch 
drink that is guaranteed to convert a Christian into a pagan 
in short order. 

I asked permission from him the next morning to go to 
General Sibley's headquarters, which were well back in the 
rear, as was so often the case in our army when they should 
have been along in the front ranks, but I was turned down 
again. Unbeknown to the quick-made-big man, for he was 
only a nigger driver at home, I wrote and put in a stick a 
dispatch to General Sibley, telling him of the signs I had seen 
flashed from the mountain tops first on the Mexican side of 
the river, then on ours, and lastly far off in the northeast 
mountains. Sibley came closer up to the advance column and 
sent for me. 

I selected two men as my companions in the execution of 
his request. In forty-eight hours' time I informed him of the 
meeting of the Indians of New Mexico and Arizona, and gave 
it as my opinion that it was a peace meeting and foreboded 
us no harm, but that signals would have to be burned on the 
mountains lying back of El Paso signifying that their previous 
signals had been interpreted and as meaning peace. This 
resulted in our army not being massacred in detail, for Sibley's 
friendship with the Indians was very great, while that of his 
brother-in-law, Canby, commiander of the Federal forces at 
Fort Craig, was nil. 

But for Sibley's treaty with the Indians the battle of Val 
Verde would never have been fought, and I doubt very much 
whether one in the whole brigade would have ever returned 
home, for with the Indians or with Canby, Kit Carson and 
General Slough, coupled with the natural hatred that existed 
with all the Mexicans living in Mexico and Arizona, and, as 
for that matter, all of their relatives in the Republic of Mexico, 
we would have fared much worse than did' the McCloud Santa 
Fe expedition in 1840 of twelve hundred picked Texans under 


this same General McCloud to whom I have referred, all of 
whom were lost excepting the General and twenty-five or thirty 
others in the rear-guard who escaped home down through the 
"No Man's Land." They had reached the Rio Grande River 
somewhere near Albuquerque. Those who were not murdered 
were marched from there to the City of Mexico, sixteen 
hundred miles. There was scarcely a day of the march which 
did not mark the final departure of one from the torments of 
the march. 

General Sibley detailed my Colonel, Riley, to go and see 
the Governor of Sonora on the subject of secession and annexa- 
tion combination and co-operation. Riley took some money 
with him, came back without it and with a flea in his ear, and 
we got no wheat, and but for the dried buffalo and antelope 
meat that the Indians brought us later on, we would have 
starved to death. The compact that those Indians made with 
Sibley endured until the last. Canby could control them in 
no way against their compact. Had they done what Canby, 
Kit Carson and others offered all sorts of rewards to* do, we 
would never have reached the State of Texas again after the 
battle of Glorietta Canyon, twenty-six miles northwest of Santa 
Fe and near Fort Union, where Sibley's Brigade met its 
Waterloo and commenced its rapid retreat. Every man for 
himself, nothing on the order of things. The retreat of 
Napoleon from Moscow would be about the only parallel in 

We were now sixteen hundred miles, as the road mean- 
dered, from our base of supplies, San Antonio, Texas, with 
naught but a desert and land of desolation lying between us, 
with an enemy in front at Fort Craig, another pressing us in 
the rear, while on both flanks hovered the most bloodthirsty 
and warlike tribe of American Indians. Of this retreat my 
next chapter will relate, and though I know that my power 
to convey to the average reader a faint idea of our sufferings 
will fall far short, yet I will make the attempt. 


That man when first born is the most helpless of all 
creatures of God's make, all know ; but that he is the toughest 
animal after he has been sized up and given a few tough les- 
sons, and can stand more than any animal on earth, except it 
may be the patient brute which bore our Savior out of 
Jerusalem, none can deny. 

There may have been an order issued by the General in 
command for our retreat. One thing sure, it was never read 
out on dress parade. After the battle of Val Verde, on the 
twenty-first day of February, 1861, the army of invasion 
marched north, leaving General Canby in Fort Craig with 
from four to six thousand troops in our rear and between us 
and our supplies and reserves, reaching Albuquerque two days 
afterwards, where there had been stored since the war with 
Mexico, it has been estimated, more than six million dollars' 
worth of commissary, quartermaster and medical supplies. 
Why it should have been done I never knew, nor did anyone 
else, unless it was because our men were getting drunk on the 
whisky and our commander had never been sober, but the 
torch was applied toi this immense storehouse of provisions and 
supplies, and no man can describe the fury of that flame on 
that dark night of the twenty-sixth of February. 

Eurning bacon, brandy and whisky and quartermaster's 
supplies, with the bursting of bombs and the terrific explosion 
of powder when the magazine was reached. The condition 
of our army of independent Texans, the majority of whom 
loved "red rye," can better be imagined than I can undertake 
to describe and explain. And perhaps it is as well that the 
veil of obscurity be drawn over it forever and a day. 


62 sibley's retreat from santa fe. 

From this place we went to Santa Fe, where the same 
burning act was repeated, and where in less than five days we 
were suffering the agonies of starvation from our own acts 
of vandalism. There was no excuse for burning these sup- 
plies. It was the act of a maddened brain or brains. It was 
a case of those whom the gods would destroy they first made 

We were advised that there was but a small Federal force, 
one company of regulars, at Fort Union, thirty-five or forty 
miles northeast of Santa Fe and at the head of Glorietta 
Canyon. I have often thanked my Creator that I was not in 
good repute with my commanding General as a scout at this 
time, and therefore none of the murders could be laid at my 
door, for it was no better than murder, the sending of eight 
hundred men up Glorietta Canyon to attack Fort Union, where 
General Slough and sixty-five hundred picked Northwest 
plainsmen were waiting at the mouth of the trap for our 
coming, and had been for many days. 

The three hundred and eighty who had answered their 
last roll call the day before, whose bodies and bones were left 
near the mouth of this canyon, were just so many victims 
who fell in front of General John Barleycorn. They were 
soldiers who knew only how to obey, to do and to die. The 
commanding General of our forces was an old army officer, 
whose love for liquor exceeded that for home, country or God. 

Along about this time I acquired considerable light, and it 
seemed to me as though all my comrades and friends were 
acquiring more and more of darkness. I shaped my course 
accordingly, and without deserting the friends that I had 
started in with, I drew into the background and, as the saying 
is, "pulled the hole in after me," to come to the front again at 
another time, when I know of my own knowledge that but 
for the giving of a signal and those which followed, every 
man of the brigade who sought to reach home over the route 

sibley's retreat from santa fe. 63 

from Eagle Canyon, Eagle Springs, Van Horn's Wells and 
the Dead Man's Water Holes by Fort Davis and Wild Rose 
Pass down Olympia Canyon, would have been massacred. 

The retreat of the Army of New Mexico, as we were 
called, from Santa Fe down the Rio Grande to Socorro was 
like that of the skedaddling of a crowd of urchins who had 
been caught in a melon patch. 

At Socorro we met Canby, who moved up from Fort Craig. 
That night the torch was applied to every burnable article 
that we had, and without guide or compass, track or trail, much 
less a road, we started up over that tall mountain westward 
towards Cook's Peaks, making a detour of two hundred miles 
over that desert, striking the Rio Grande River again near 
old Fort Thorn. It was here that I rejoined my companions, 
and with them the mail from the loved ones in Texas and 
sixty pack mules well loaded with dried buffalo meat, but for 
which every one of the fourteen hundred men would have 
perished in the next twenty-four hours. Should I tell how 
this was procured and from whom and by whom and how paid 
for, I would scarcely be believed, but it was by no act of 
Divine Providence nor was it a miracle, as so many of my 
old comrades seemed to think. The only thing I ever regretted 
about it was that the drunken individual who was the cause 
o>f all our misfortune was also kept from starving, but since 
we are told in Divine Scripture that it rains on the unjust as 
well as the just, we will let it go> at that. 

From this point toi El Paso>, about three hundred and seven- 
ty-five miles, we walked and staggered along like the reeling, 
hungry, thirsty wretches that we were, with no> head, nobody 
to direct or command, with the bloodthirsty Dog Canyon 
Apache Indian following in our wake and scalping the poor 
unfortunate boys whose blistered feet and enfeebled frame 
made it impossible for them to march, farther. The memory 
of those days and the next eight hundred miles' march before 

64 sibley's retreat from santa fe. 

us could never be effaced. No army or body of men on the 
American continent ever suffered as did the men on this 
retreat, and which has never been told in song or story, because 
of the reflections it might bring on the men who were at the 
head of the lay-out. Such loyalty / never swore to> and never 

It was on the twenty-sixth day of April, 1862, that the first 
men took up the line of march from El Paso to San Antonio, 
Texas, seven hundred and forty miles over the hot desert 
country, with seven and one-half pounds of unbolted flour and 
nothing else. They had thrown away their guns. A few 
carried their six-shooters. All hung on to their iron ramrods. 
There were six or eight horses and a wagon with four mules 
to the first party of six hundred men. It matters little the 
part I played in this retreat from now on. I was with them 
afoot where but a short time ago in a fine carriage I drove 
over the old camp ground from whence we started. I call 
back forty-one years ago, when, after a long and weary march 
of nearly one hundred miles in the valleys of the Rio> Grande 
River to Fort Quitman, we ascended to the plateau country up 
Eagle Canyon, twenty miles to the old overland stage route 
station, which was in ruins, and stands there today, as I am 
told, at Eagle Springs, where there was a well like Jacob's 
well, forty feet deep, sixty feet in diameter, with circling steps 

A live subterranean stream of pure water flowed through 
a cavernous rock. Canby had employed the Indians to fill this 
well full of sheep. Where they came from I never have been 
able to find out, or whether it was the La Pan band of 
Comanche Indians or the Dog Canyon Apaches no one has 
ever been able to tell, except General Canby's chief scout, Kit 
Carson, the then terror of the plains. 

We had no water kegs. We poled on twenty-two* miles 
to Van Horn's Wells, which, was a similar well to that at Eagle 

sibley's retreat from santa fe. 65 

Springs and which was also filled with sheep. How and by 
whom this was done has been one o>f the mysteries of the war 
that I have not been able to solve. From here it was thirty-six 
miles to the Dead Man's Water Holes, sixteen miles northwest 
of Fort Davis, making a distance of eighty-five miles that we 
had to tramp afoot over this desert road under a hot burning 
sun facing sirocco winds which blew from the southwest over 
the parched plains with heat that, once felt, can never be 
forgotten, but which cannot be described. 

Twenty or a less number of Apache Indians could have 
massacred the entire body of men. As I dictate this my pic- 
tures before me portray suffering, famishing, perishing men, 
strung out for twenty miles on a level, flat desert road, crazed 
with their condition, reeling like mad or drunk. The best 
walkers were the first to< reach the water, about midnight, and 
pass the word back to the next and he to the next. By day- 
light all were supposed to be present, though be it understood 
that there was no roll call, no fife or drum sounded, no guard 
mounting or any sort of official appearances. 

As each famishing individual quenched his thirst he would 
go back and lie down across the road, the only place to lie, for 
it was all cactus, cat-claw and sage brush on each side. My 
two companions and I were among the first to reach the water 
and were the first to lie down and take a nap. At sunrise I 
started to the rear, where the wagon had been left and the 
mules turned loose. In the wagotl there was a pick, a spade 
and a shovel, and the corpse of a young friend who* had 
perished on the road, which I had lifted into the wagon without 

I could have killed every man with that pickax as they lay 
there, so sound asleep were they. And a more ghastly sight 
I never beheld than those men lying on their backs, the sun 
shining in their faces. For forty-eight hours we had had 
nothing to eat. We had walked eighty-five miles without a 

66 sibley's retreat from santa fe. 

drop of water. We had had no salt in anything we had eaten 
for nearly twenty days. Men whose ordinary weight was one 
hundred and eighty-five pounds weighed less than one hundred 
and fifteen, as was proven on the scales at Fort Davis the day 
after the time of which I speak of: our arriving at the Dead 
Man's Water Holes. 

At Fort Davis we found wood with which to build fires 
to bake our unbolted flour, that we kneaded into a dough which 
we wound around our iron ramrods and held over the fire. 
We rested at Fort Davis that day and night. At three o'clock 
in the morning myself and two others, with whom I had had 
much experience on the scout, started out to pick our way to 
Wild Rose Pass to* see if we could spy out anything in the 
enemy's country in front of us. 

We saw a smoke on Olympia Mountains in the northeast, 
which on being interpreted said: "Pursue the enemy no 

Ellam, Burrows and myself were the three happiest mortals 
on earth when we saw this smoke sign, and as it has always 
proved to be the case that "Where ignorance is bliss 'tis folly 
to be wise," we never told the boys of what we saw. 

These were the last Indian signs that I ever saw, and this 
was the last act of my life as an Indian scout in an Indian 
country. A premonition seemed to tell me at the time that 
it would be, and it is very possible that there never lived a 
mortal on this great earth that felt so thankful as I did to feel 
that it was the last. 

In after years I came across old "Rip" Ford and Jack 
Baylor and McNulty and a host of others whom I might name, 
who had from the earliest days of the Texas republic up to 
that time been engaged in Indian warfare, and from whom I 
learned my early lessons, and particularly in Indian signs, and 
I might say Indian astrology, for be it understood that all the 

sibley's retreat from santa fe. 67 

Indian chiefs and medicine men had an astrology that was 
something fearful to behold when unfolded to a novice. 

I might fill pages of solid printed matter recounting my 
experiences on the frontier, and I might do as a great number 
of others have done in recounting their experiences — tell a pack 
of lies and give accounts of blood-curdling, Indian-killing, 
single-combat fights. I believe that I can say truthfully that 
my experience in this Indian warfare business was about second 
o<r third only to others who went before me, but it was far 
superior to any one who* came after me, for when I quit the 
trail there was none left on it except old GeronimO' in New 

I have frequently listened to stories of men whom I knew 
and who had even been with me in Indian hunts, that were so 
unreal and foreign to the truth that I never afterwards thought 
strange of God's having repented that He made man. 

I have been in my day many things and in many places 
and many conditions, under many circumstances, and when 
cornered right down, as I have been on more than one occasion, 
in order to save my life or that of my friends and the cause 
I was serving, the greatest liar on earth could not have excelled 
me in talking out of a bad scrape, as scout and secret service 
man for the cause that was lost. I don't say government, 
because I have too much respect for my high opinion of 
government to allow anyone to* intimate to me that the Con- 
federacy was governed by a government, administered by men 
who were made of that material my ancestors were, whose 
blood marked other spots than those of Valley Forge. 

I have been in a good many battles and a great number 
of skirmishes where the random guns were fired, but it was 
always my province and divine gift to> smell danger afar, and 
if ever I prayed to be "delivered from temptation" I never 
failed to put in at the same time "and from all danger." 

I may have been wounded often, and certainly once was 

68 sibley's retreat from santa fe. 

left on the battlefield toi be scalped by the accursed Comanche, 
but I never was half as -badly hurt as I was scared, and I know 
that the man who says that he went into battle or a skirmish 
with as much sang froid as he would go into a banquet room 
or take a seat in the midst of a Methodist camp meeting — he 
is a liar and the truth is not in him. 

I have been in battles where, after the first flash of fire and 
graveyard sounds had passed over me, like others around I 
became so badly scared — what else to call it I do not know — 
that I became perfectly indifferent to the falling of dead com- 
panions around me. I could cite an instance of a battle into 
which I was unluckily inveigled. My horoscope had got a 
little out of whack and my compass pointed the wrong way, or 
I am very sure I would not have been in there. After the 
first onslaught I became so palsied that I became reckless, and 
what I did I never would have remembered, though I was given 
credit for the most strategic and heroic act of the season m 
battles that were then about culminating, and for which I 
received great honor. 

It just came that way and I had nothing to do> with it, for 
had I added the word "Yankee" to» my yell in crying out "Clear 
the road for the cavalry!" the effect would have been very 
different. This cry was taken up by all of the boys, and the 
woods were made to ring with the sound. The Yankees were 
pressing us to the wall — they were nine thousand strong — and, 
thinking that we meant the Texas Cavalry, they commenced 
forming solid squares and we commenced a real old-fashioned 
Ranger rush to the rear and got away. 

This was at the battle of Irish Bend, near Franklin, 
Louisiana, where the Federal General Grover went to the rear 
of Taylor's army and came within an ace of cutting off our 
retreat from Bissland, and which would have been done but 
for the cry we raised, after having been badly whipped and 
had fallen back half a mile, of "Clear the road for the cavalry!" 

sibley's retreat from santa fe. 69 

General Grover had no cavalry and he thought that he was 
running up against the Texas Cavalry Division, and when they 
heard this yell they thought their day had come. We thought 
the same way about that time. 

It was here that my beau ideal of a gentleman and officer, 
Colonel James Riley, was killed. He was the very counterpart 
both in looks and actions of General Robert E. Lee. He was 
a great friend of mine; I had been of his. I felt his loss 
keenly, not so» much for myself as for my comrades. His wife 
was on the battlefield with him and drove the ambulance carry- 
ing his body to the rear. She was a woman who> was adored 
by every soldier of the old brigade. 

I visited this battle-ground forty years afterwards, but 
nothing was there to> mark the spot, and no> one there who- had 
been a participant in that fight that saved Dick Taylor's army 
of Louisiana. The retreat of which I have been giving an 
account was performed in two months' time. Much less than 
one-half the number of men whof had left San Antonio for the 
gold fields of California or the rich mines of Mexico- ever 
returned, and the larger half of those who> did lived a life of 
suffering because of their extreme hardships in this campaign. 

I was officer of the guard one night at an outpost station 
on the Del Murty Mountains, south of Fort Craig, a few days 
before the battle of Val Verde. The twelve o'clock relief 
came in and one of the boys crawled under my blankets with 
me to sleep 011 the frozen ground, when he said, calling me 
by my army nickname, which I will give to no man : 

"We're going — to have — a fight — in the — mornin' !" 

Thinking that he had seen something that should be 
reported to> headquarters, I said : 

"Why so, Frank?" 

"Well, I heard — them — Yankees — down there — cocking 
their — cannons." 

Frank had never seen a cannon. He had heard the stories 


of loading them by oxen pulling the balls in and being driven 
out at the touch-hole, and he imagined that they were cocked 
as he cocked his double-barrel squirrel gun, which made a great 
sound, and that of course the cocking of a cannon would make 
a correspondingly loud sound. Frank was a great favorite in 
the camp and had but little to- say to any one, and that only on 
rare occasions. He was once asked te» come into: the tent and 
have something good to eat. He said : "It's — been so — long 
— since I — had anything — to eat — I think — I had — better have 
— some filling — stuff first," supposing that he was going to get 
pie and cake and that only. 

Frank got drunk on Louisiana rum hot from the still, and 
on being questioned afterwards how he felt, said: "At first 
— felt — awful bad — and then — I felt — as though — I was — 
going to die — and then — I felt — as though — I couldn't die." 

Frank had a girl back home, but he could not write to her, 
and had he been able to have written she could not have read 
it. I did Frank's corresponding, as I did that of no few, to 
say the least. I got my copy of love letters from a letter 
writer's book, and I could turn them off with great rapidity, 
but when seconds commenced coming in, then I had to rub 
my brain for originality along on this line, and I soon became 
an expert, a proficient. I practiced on phrases and expressions 
that would just make the girls come down off of their perches 
whether or no. Half of the young ladies could not read them, 
so they had to look to some one whoi would interpret the same, 
and there's where all was lost, for love epistles second and third 
hand become cold affairs. Anyway, when the girls got to 
comparing and found out that there was one-man power behind 
these gushing expressions, for I wrote a very marked hand, 
trouble commenced with the boys for having let some one else 
find out their secret. I practiced along on this line so much 
that when I got to doing the job for myself, I was afterwards 
told, and many years afterwards, that it was done perfectly. 

sibley's retreat from santa fe. 71 

I have listened to men recounting deeds of heroism, valor 
and endurance in other branches of the service and in other 
sections of the country, but I am confident that there was no 
army in the Confederacy whose suffering, privations, hardships, 
much less deeds of valor, would come up to, or that could in 
any way compare with, that of the army of New Mexico. 

By night and by day we were beset with an enemy from all 
sides and all around, and we knew no rest day or night. We 
were constantly on duty and on guard. Our rations were scant 
and our clothing was yet more so. Consider the condition, 
the clime from whence we came and the country in which we 
were wintering, and an idea may be formed of our great 
suffering from aoild. 

When it came to the actions and the deeds on the 1 battle- 
field, we met an enemy with all the improvements in warfare, 
as well as with the bow and arrow and the spear, and hand-to- 
hand conflicts were more frequent than in any other battles 
of the Confederacy. The Eastern armies had their graphic 
correspondents, grafted and gifted liars, who magnified mole- 
hills into* mountains and often made a ten-man skirmish a great 
and bloody battle, where no one had been touched. 

We went to' our homes, those of us who> had them, to 
recuperate, remount and to rendezvous at different points in 
different parts of the State. The Confederate Congress had 
passed the Conscription Act, which took all from the cradle to 
the grave, sixteen to sixty, unless he owned twenty negroes or 
five hundred head of stock, and if he owned these and had 
been fool enough to guarantee, he could get a discharge from 
the army and go home and play gentleman. Many a fond 
mother but more dear fathers deeded their sons the required 
number of negroes or five hundred head of cattle that they 
might be kept out of the army or be gotten out of it if they 
were in. This was the first blow the cause received. It made 
it a rich man's war and a poor man's fight and came very near 


being the cause of the disbanding of the army through mutiny. 
Large bounties were offered for free enlistment, but the money 
was as near worthless as cracked marbles would be to a school- 

I saw at the battle of Bissland in Louisiana fifteen hundred 
conscripts who had been armed with newly imported — via 
Mexico — English Enfield rifles, throw their rifles over the 
entrenchment and then jump over themselves. It boots noth- 
ing to say that they were Louisiana Creoles, for it was only 
in other directions that thousands and tens of thousands of 
full-blooded natives to the soil did practically the same thing 
and for why the cause was lost without one single stipulation, 
consideration or honor given to the bearers O'f its banners 
except as that voluntarily given by General Grant at Appo^ 
mattox Court House, which was jn my opinion the most noble, 
generous, greatest, grandest, bravest and chivalrous act ever 
done by one conqueror to> the defeated and vanquished. And 
when methinks of how humiliating it must have been to that 
great, good and noble Robert E. Lee and those who stood 
beside him on the memorable day, my heart all but weeps. 

The greatest officers and statesmen of the Confederacy were 
those whose voices and counsels were never heard or heeded. 
They were the ones who were retired to the rear or put off 
in obscure places of command, and others like Lovell and 
Duncan and Pemberton were put in their places, that brought 
the people of the South its greatest disgrace. 

One of the greatest difficulties of the people of the South 
was that they, were too much disposed to> be man worshipers, 
and from listening to the blatant demagogues they were led 
in the wrong direction from start to finsh. They were taught 
by these worthies to place confidence and trust in men who, 
had they as much patriotism as they had selfishness, might 
have accomplished something worthy of the people over whom 
they forced themselves in command. 

sibley's retreat from santa fe. 73 

The reason that about this time I received special prefer- 
ment and advancement and particular notice came from the fact 
that there were but few young men who had the ability to 
cover ground as fast or who had the brains to provide against 
difficulties, and for why I was put on the Secret Service. I 
was neither a spy nor a detective, but a bearer of dispatches, 
and it often amused me to see haw little my immediate officers 
and assocates knew what I was doing. 

After the fall of Vicksburg, at Port Hudson, I made many 
trips between Richmond, Virginia, and the Trans-Mississippi 
Department, bearing dispatches, more often committed to 
memory before I started and rewritten by me in the presence 
of the commanding General, than I ever delivered written out 
by the Secretary of War. I crossed the Mississippi River a 
great number of times and seldom but that it was done by tak- 
ing my life in my own hands. Once I came to Rodney, Mis- 
sissippi, when I was the bearer of one of the most important 
dispatches that ever was sent from Richmond to> the command- 
ing General, which must be delivered — the sooner the better. 
My cottonwood log was sunk in Cole's Creek, near Rodney, 
Mississippi. I saw a negro in the road ahead of me. I hailed 
him. He reluctantly came to. I said to him : 

"My good man, do you know whether there are any Con- 
federates down here at Rodney or not?" trying to convey to 
him that I was one of the other fellows. He looked square at 
me and said : 

"No, dars no Confederates down dar, but dar was a lot of 
Yankees dar yesterday and dey interested a man about like you 
and I believe dat if youse goes down dar dey will interest 

The old darkey could give me no further information, so 
I poled on. 

I found the town clear of any Federals and no gunboats in 
sight. An old mulatto was sitting in a boat fishing, half asleep 


and the other half no more awake. I always went well armed. 
I had two small two-inch derringers in my battery in those 
days. I sprang into the boat and the sound of the cocking of 
those pistols woke Sambo. I pointed to the other side of the 
river and held my batteries down on his head. Yale or no 
other college team ever turned out any men or set of men equal 
to this very frightened darky for rowing, and I am sure that 
I never crossed the Mississippi River so quickly before. I 
landed safely on the other side. That I might cover my tracks 
well I gave the nigger a silver dollar and a silver half dollar. 
His eyes shown like fresh casting plates and between thanking 
me and saying, "Massa, Massa, I kin do* it agin if youse will." 
I made a fast friend there but for whose signaling I would 
have been captured by a party of Wort Adams' Mississippi Con- 
federate Cavalry, who bore the same relation to the Confed- 
erate army that Quantrell of Missouri did, and who was both 
hawk and bussard taken dead or alive, and no more sure the 
Grey than the Blue. 

These Mississippians were of the best families of the State, 
rich descendants of that class of people w!k> were kinged over 
by the world-noted robber and murderer, John A. Murrill, who 
said that when he "robbed a man he killed him, because dead 
men tell no tales." There are a great number of great people 
in Mississippi, and there are good ones among them, but of 
all fighting machines that ever walked commend me to a Mis- 
sissippian and a gun-armed Apache Indian. 

If I were writing a book to make myself popular with all 
the people, regardless of the truth, instead of writing a book to 
tell the truth, I would hedge more than I have or ever would 
or ever will. A lion was looking at a great oil painting where 
an artist had painted a dead lion with a huntsman standing 
over him resting on his gun, and the lion was growling. When 
he was asked by the painter what he was growling at, and he 


"If it had been the, lion painting the picture it would have 
been the man who was dead." 

If a Wort Adams Mississippi cavalryman was telling this 
instead of me, he would make it appear that he was a great 
and valorous, noble and generous Confederate cavalryman, in- 
stead of a "Bushwhacker" and worse than a highwayman. 


An O. S. P. divine, who had preached many years without 
any accessories to his church, met a Methodist preacher who 
had had many new converts every quarter, and said : ''Brother, 
I want you to give me the secret of your success in preaching. 
You know that I have studied divinity for years before I went 
to preaching, while you did not know the A-B-C's. I write 
out my sermons and make them most perfect. I read them 
off to my congregation, which never increases. Now tell me 
how I may, as you have yours, increase my congregation?" 

"I can tell you how it is," sai^ the Methodist preacher. 
"You sit down and write out a good sermon, full of the true 
religion. The demon who sits on your right shoulder whispers 
in your ear, 'Now, don't you know if you read that out from 
your pulpit that Miss Wilson, John Doe, Richard Doe, Bob 
Jones and Bill Smith will never come to hear you preach 
again ?' Whereupon you scratch it all out and you commence 
again and you write out another good sentence and then it is 
that the devil pops up on the other side and says, 'How fool- 
ish it would be in you to read that out from your pulpit ; why, 
all the business men in town would quit you and pay no more 
pew rent, and, besides that, they would be getting a new min- 
ister,' whereupon you write off a long sentence of platitud- 
inous religious propositions and possibilities that nobody un- 
derstands or cares for, for it has nothing in it understand- 
able ; and then it is that the devil pats you on top of your head 
and says, 'That's the sort of stuff to feed them on. That's 
sense. You need have no* fear about holding your job.' Now, 
my dear Christian brother, when I get up to preach, the devil 
himself does not know what I am going to say." 



When I sit down to commence on a chapter I am like the 
Methodist preacher. 

I might live to be a very old, old man and my senses may 
have all faded and passed away, yet among the few events of 
my life I believe I would never forget my arrival in San An- 
tonio after the long march over the great Texas desert, Rio 
Grande River valley sands, and hill climbing, on that long 
and wearisome march of near eighteen hundred miles. More 
barefoot than shod, more naked than clothed, with blood dried 
up, muscles contracted and flesh shriveled, and there were none 
to meet me there, yet I in common with my comrades was 
made happy by and from receiving all the corn-meal, salt, half 
ration of rancid bacon and all the green beef we wanted. 
There was no clothing in the Quartermaster's Department and 
there was no store in all San Antonio that had anything in it 
but old remnants and they had three prices in specie of five to 
ten in such currency as we might have received for our services 
under a government which was run by a set oif men who* cared 
as much for the common soldiers as an ordinary huntsman 
would care for his hounds. 

We had never received a cent of pay and there had been 
no provision made to pay us upon our return to San Antonio, 
where we were comforted with an order to proceed to* our re- 
spective homes and remount ourselves with horses that would 
be acceptable to the service, re-arm ourselves and re-clothe our- 
selves and after sixty days from date rendezvous at different 
points given, with no such expression as "if you please." 

Notwithstanding all this, we were called upon and expected 
to admire, cherish and love all, from the latest appointed lance 
corporal up to Jeff Davis himself. And a whole lot of them 
did, I do believe, and a lot of them who didn't lived to forget 
it and worship the rod and the handlers of the rod which smote 
them. It is a fact, and I challenge any living mortal to dis- 
pute it, contradict it or prove anything to the contrary, that 


never on the face of God's green earth was a body of men 
called soldiers, fighting for a cause esteemed by large num- 
bers of them as religiously just, who were treated as cruelly, 
as meanly, as ungratefully and as unchristianlike as were the 
Confederate soldiers, and this applies to the armies from the 
Potomac to the farthest West, that of New Mexico. 

My reader may think that I am radical, but he would not if 
he had tasted and drank of the bitter dregs of that damnable 
and most bitter cup. Had the Confederate army been prop- 
erly officered and supported by a proper, generous and brave 
government, no army on earth could have conquered it. The 
older I grow, as it surely is with you, my dear reader, the more 
of a fatalist I become, and when methinks of the four years' 
service I put in, the hardest that any man ever lived through, 
in a good old democratic hard-time war, I can but think that 
it was my fate and is made a decree of the powers that be be- 
yond the powers of man that it should be as it turned out to 
be, and that the ruling spirits had been made mad unto> de- 

Ask me why I thus think? My reply will be, "Turn back 
fifty years and see what the South was and see what the negro 
was and see what the poor people of the South were, and see 
what the artisan and the merchant were, and forget not the 
tiller of the soil ; and then go, travel over the South today, from 
east to west and from north to south, as I have been doing in 
the last few years and months, solely to see the people and how 
they are, and compare their condition with what it was, rich 
and poor, white and black alike, and then place yourself in my 
fix, having, from good luck possibly more than from good 
chance or management, acquired a competency of worldly 
wealth — not in the South, however — and then, not once a day, 
nay, not five times a day for many days in succession, respond 
to the rap and call to your door of a feeble and tottering old, 
old man who tells you that he was a Confederate soldier — who' 


tells you that he had suffered for something to eat foir many 
days, and whose appearance confirms what he says ; and then, 
if you have a heart and only a crust and you could refuse, you 
have no soul that would fit you for anything better in your 
old age than the soldier of the "Lost Cause" received in his 
old age. 

I have been in what they term Soldiers' Homes in other 
States than the one whose banners I first bore, whose inmates 
have begged of me to take them out of those worse than ac- 
cursed prison pens. Reader, if you will listen to the accursed, 
lying hypocrite, sycophant, place-hunting, office-holding, crib- 
fed, fat, sleek politician, as did, as would my compeers in i860 
and thereabout, you may be made to> believe that these old 
soldiers in these so-called Southern "Homes" have no wants 
but that are bountifully provided for ; but go thou and see for 
thyself that you may ever afterward hate a lying politician, 
especially if he be of that tribe that only brought your country 
ruin, misery, desolation, destruction and all else but peace, 
comfort and happiness and all to the contrary of good govern- 

The condition of affairs in the South are such that no in- 
telligent man — much less a fool who* only gets his ideas from 
reading over some prejudiced writings — can properly compre- 
hend until he shall have gone there and seen for himself, the 
negro who is in a much worse condition than he was in the 
days of slavery — now don't say that I am an old pro-slavery 
man who is prejudiced against the negro, for you would be 
telling yourself a lie — while the poor white man of today is so 
much, worse off than he was fifty years agoi that the difference 
cannot be comprehended in other words than it is "incompre- 
hensible" to* him or his visitor. 

Compare any condition of affairs in the South today with 
those of fifty years ago, and it will be like comparing the fruit- 
ful vineyards and gardens that were and that now is a lava 


bed from great volcanic eruptions. Then say to yourself, as 
I can, "Had the advice and the counsel of the South's great 
patriots and statesmen been heeded and listened to instead of 
that of the blackened demagogues, where might not the South 
today be, when we look at the wonderful, indescribable ad- 
vancement of all human industries and interests of the North- 
ern and Western States of the Union?" Great statesmen, like 
Alexander H. Stevens oi Georgia, Sam Houston of Texas and 
Bell of Tennessee, were relegated to 1 the rear by the howling, 
hissing, roaring, bellowing demagogues, whom the gods had 
first made mad for destruction. 

It is my belief that the man has not yet been born who may 
suggest any possible solution of the negro* question in the 
South, and unborn millions, even for centuries hence, may find 
the question as perplexing and insolvable as it is to the best 
thing, good desiring Christian patriots, statesmen and sages 
of today. 

Were it possible to enthrone and crown cotton king again 
— which can never be — the negro> question would only become 
more and more perplexing. One of the great difficulties in the 
South is that — do not say that this is a contradiction — the 
great majority of the people are a noble, generous, open- 
hearted, free and confiding people, who from being so are easily 
led, it would seem as though they actually prayed for a leader 
— a king, as it were — and the more blatant, big-mouthed, the 
sycophant, hypocrite, political demagogue who comes along, 
the more these people swear by him. It is their nature to be 
thus and, "as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall 
be, world without end," as far as the better element in the 
South is concerned. 

I must now tell, to illustrate this last proposition, of a slick, 
cunning advertising villain — I will not give his name or place of 
residence, but will come as near telling all the points as public 
policy will permit. It will, however, be recognized by tens 


of thousands of my Southern readers, for I calculate that this 
vodume will be read by more people of the South than any other 
book that has ever been written, not excepting the Bible and 
Testament and Webster's Elementary Spelling Book, and I 
also calculate that from its being read great good is going to 
come to the reader in all cases where the reader has sense 
enough to keep his hands from being used as a catspaw, as 
the monkey did the cat in the chestnut deal. 

This cunning, slick,' plausible, two-faced, stem-winding 
Yankee advertised in all of the Southern papers and papers that 
were circulated down South. It was only when he made a 
mistake that his advertisement was found in any paper pub- 
lished north of the Ohio River, except the paper that had cir- 
culated down South, as did the New York Day Book, the great 
secessionist Democratic paper before the war, Van Avery, 
Wharton & Co., every one of whom were cunning Yankees 
playing on the Southern people's prejudices for so much — one 
dollar and fifty cents per year. 

His advertisement was short, pointed and sweet and in 
substance said that he was the inventor, discoverer, owner, and 
absolute possessor of a divining rod, a magnetized-eleetro- 
poised - o»zone - fluted -pole-twisting-guaranteed-ta-find-buried- 
silver and gold, jewels, etc., secreted by anybody, anywhere, 
Particulars furnished upon application. 

Half of the white people of the South believed that their 
daddies or their mammies or their uncles or their aunts each 
buried more of the valuable coins of the realm and diamond 
diadems than a fat government mule could pack. Nine out of 
every ten negroes believed that their old massa had more than 
their price ($i,,ooo) hid away in more places than one on the 
old plantation. Shortly after this advertisement appeared 
there was an unheard of and unusual demand upon the postof- 
fice in Washington for stamps, for just about nearly everybody 
down South wrote to this aforesaid stem-winding Yankee, in- 


closing the required "ten cents for further information." The 
further information consisted of a lithographed letter, that of 
itself would deceive the devil that wasn't up to Yankee' tricks 
in letter writing, which was published by the ton and that 
netted each one eight and three- fourths cents apiece. 

It went on to state that the writer was advised that the 
planters in your section were very wealthy and had been in the 
habit o'f burying large sums of money long before the war com- 
menced, and after the war buried all they had and could lay 
hands on, and that, knowing what he did, it would not be right 
for him to part with his valuable information without being 
assured and secured by a liberal security of say one-third of 
all that was discovered by reason of his rods, dips and needles, 
and that upon your signing the inclosed bond with two secur- 
ity names attached thereto and sending with it ten dollars, you 
would be sent a silver finding needle, conditioned upon receiv- 
ing a reply to this within fifteen days' time, for, as you know, 
we do not want too many operating on the same ground. 
Don't buy postoffice orders or checks, but send remittances in 
registered letters, and above all things don't give yourself away 
to the postmaster or the local bankers. 

The money came, and why should it not? And the little 
steel ring with the flap-doodle magnetized needle attachment 
was sent in a little box about the size that my old dad made 
me use in putting up one dozen of his old calomel, ipecac, 
rhubarb and jalap — equal portions — anti-bilious compound, 
double-acting, never- to-be- forgotten cathartic pills, guaranteed 
to work both ways. 

Upon receiving this letter our Southern cracker friend im- 
mediately proceeded to crawl around in the dark night close 
up to his neighbors' lots, barns, houses and rose bushes, and not 
infrequently ran up against another man on the same mission, 
and possibly a nigger or two, and perhaps more niggers bit 
at this swindle than whites. 


Ten days, two weeks or a month would elapse, and the re- 
ceiver would receive a second epistle, which I will call stem- 
winder number two. It went on to say that "I took you to be 
an honest man ; I received your bond in good faith ; the money 
you sent me was nothing as compared with what my portion 
should have been. Perhaps you think you are depriving me of 
my just, legal and bonded rights, but unless I hear from you at 
an early date you will be a very much disappointed community 
or your part of it will be." 

With fear and trembling the "gull" answered that the ma- 
chine did not woirk, that he had spent five or ten or twenty 
nights 'midst storms and rains and had not been able to locate 
anything, and perhaps he put in that he knew that there were 
lots of it buried around in the very ground he had been over. 

Soon the "gull" received stem- winder number three, which 
informed him that it was a silver finder that he had received, 
but that what he needed now was a combined gold and silver 
finder, the price of which was fifty dollars, and that he would 
take back the ten-dollar machine, making forty dollars for the 
new, and which, "now that I am thoroughly convinced that you 
are an honest man, I will divide into payments. Twenty dol- 
lars cash and twenty dollars, in sixty days, by which time no 
doubt you will be in possession of wealth enough to» evar aft- 
erward keep the wolf from the door and help me to keep' the 
one from mine." 

This scarcely ever failed to> draw twenty dollars, in receipt 
for which the "gull' heard no> more from this man from this 
place, but would soon afterward hear from him a long distance 
from that spot, up in Canada, telling him that a friend of his, 
"an old, true and trusted friend of yours, whom I will not name 
because O'f reasons that will present themselves to you, gave me 
your name as a proper, honest, discreet man to this address. 

"Recently a pal of mine was nipped by the United States 
Government that would have given him, half a million dollars 


for the plates he had used in putting out fac-simile ten, twenty 
and fifty dollar bills, or which the United States Government 
had redeemed many million dollars' worth. I have those 
plates with me here in this 'way-off" backwoods country, which 
you will see by reference to the proper map is fifty miles from 
any railroad," etc., etc., and a whole lot more of just such, stuff. 

"I will sell you in lots of one thousand for so much, but 
twenty thousand for only a quarter more, and fifty thousand 
for just double, and will send it to you, express paid, at the 
second express office from where you live"- -very particu- 
lar he. 

It may be that seven out of ten who got the silver and then 
afterward the gold needle sent fifty dollars to this same indi- 
vidual under another name for green goods. 

These were two — by one man — of the worst swindles that 
were ever perpetrated on the people of the South, and I was 
told by one man whom I have never found reason to doubt, that 
between the two schemes he cleared up more than eight mil- 
lion dollars inside of two> years. Somewhat like the Los An- 
geles, California, oil scheme that cleared up eleven millions 
inside of twelve months, and the Beaumont, Texas, oil schemes 
that cleared up one-half as much, saying nothing of the clear- 
ances made by the biggest Hogg in Texas. 

All sorts of get-rich-quick schemes and political knavery 
tricks seemed to take with the people of the South, as with no 
other people on the face of the globe. As an illustration of 
the great worth and character of the people of the South I will 
state that it is only necessary to) travel around through the 
Northwest States and in all of the Northern cities, where you 
will find that the Southern boy, the Southern man has been 
given preference over all other boys and men in all and in 
every possible avocation and calling requiring skill as well as 
indefatigable energy and unimpeachable honesty, and never 
have I known of a Yankee who manied down South and 


brought his bride North but that he became a greater man than 
there had ever been any hopes of his becoming before, and 
she became respected of and by all. 

But let a Yankee go down South and he is only a Yankee 
and never will be anything else as long as he lives, though his 
children may amount to something. 

Did I hear you say, reader, that I am away off from my 
subject? Read the first paragraph of this chapter and get 
right yourself; box your compass again and don't know what 
to expect. 

I went from San Antonioi further east, and from having 
a good reputation before I went west, I was refitted with a 
good horse and saddle and accouterments on a transfer of my 
pay account, twenty-five per cent to be added if we were not 
paid off in six months. 

I thought about a year after this, when down on Bayou 
Lafourche in Louisiana, how much easier I could have got a 
horse and an outfit had I belonged to> the "craft," as they called 
themselves, and this was the way of it. 

I with four or five others were picketing on our side of the 
bayou, no wider than an ordinary Arkansas road, when we 
espied a greater number of Yankees on the other side, just 
about dusk. When darkness came on a man in my party hol- 
lered out : 

"From whence do you couie?" 

"From a camp of horse thieves on the Rio Grande." 

"What came you here toi do?" 

"To learn how to improve myself in horse thieving." 

"Then you are a horse thief, I presume?" 

"I am so taken and accepted by all the 'craft' on the Rio 

"Horse Thief, can you advance and give the proper sign 
and hailing words ?" 

"Can you respond?" 


"Yes." % 

"Give you." 



After this response our man started out down the bayou, 
and the Yankee started out, and for two plugs of tobacco we 
got about five pounds of parched coffee, and such a coffee 
drinking time as we had ! It was like our eating corn dodgers 
on the retreat. 

It was after the close of the war that I was given to un- 
derstand all this horse thieving dialogue. Since then I don't 
believe I would be found afoot in any country. 

My great love, admiration and respect for the Southern 
people, while not contending for the old times and conditions 
of its "institutions," as slavery was considered, always caused 
me to hate its enemies, and it was they who lived within its 
confines and borders that I the most hated of all, and no man 
living has ever accused me of not being "true to Paul." 
Though offered great rewards, I never turned "scallawag" nor 
ever in any way went back on my report, while others who> pro^ 
fessed great Southern loyalty were all original secessionists, 
and who promised to do up anywhere from five to ten Yankees 
any morning before reveille was sounded, turned traitor, 
traitor to every principle of manhood, and for the sake of of- 
fice or reward became the most loathsome and detestable of all 
politicians, in my estamation, scallawags. 

It was the like of them; who brought on the Confederacy 
its first misfortunes, and from thence on caused them to in- 
crease, and finally encompassed its downfall without any con- 
ditions or privileges, rents or remunerations excepting as were 
voluntarily given by General U. S. Grant at Appomattox. 

Had statesmen and patriots been at the helm, even after 
some of our gravest and greatest disasters had befallen us, 
terms and conditions could have been negotiated and brought 


about that would have left the people of the South a free peo- 
ple, not beggars, and would have placed the negro' question at 
rest forever. 

And the South today, instead of being solid Democratic, 
would have been in the solid line of advancement and improve- 


A young lawyer, fresh from college and with a new license 
to practice, was sent by his old partner, who had examined the 
jury and fixed it just right for an important criminal case, to 
make the opening speech, which he did with a great amount of 
flowery eloquence and the large use of legal expressions and 
big words in general. The old lawyer saw that his case was 
lost and beyond retrieve. After he had done his best in his 
second speech he told the young man that the case was lost 
because o*f his speech. "Instead of using common, plain, 
everyday, good, solid, sensible English that every man of that 
jury, that I had picked, could understand, you shot over their 
heads with your big words and expressions, which none but 
the judge himself understood." 

He admonished the young man that the next time he un- 
dertook to make a speech he should use such language as the 
most ignorant man before him could understand, and never 
again use big words and technical expressions except as he ad- 
dressed college graduates. 

I don't believe that I ever lost a case for the want o>f good 
plain English, or from not being understood by the people 
whom I addressed. I am not writing for that class of people 
who want dictionary exercise — that is to- say, who- want words 
that they would continually have to refer to the dictionary for 
definitions. I believe in calling a spade a spade, and every 
other implement or subject which I handle or to* which I refer 
by its proper and everyday common name. And I hope that 
my reader will not consider me as having lived a life o<f labor 
in trying to coin long sentences of long words, that may or 


might mean more or less, just as the reader might choose to 
make it. 

Had my early life been spent in educational institutions, I 
might be able to make a large volume and say less than this 
volume will say before I get through with it, and yet not make 
the volume soi large as to be cumbersome. 

t After the reassembling of the brigade and its reorganiza- 
tion without the aid oif a paymaster, and only a quartermaster, 
who issued vouchers to people in payment for mules and horses 
and wagons and such like, that with a file of soldiers he took 
from the possessor without as much as to say "Thank you," 
we were ordered to southern Louisiana in the early spring of 
1863, where we met face to face with Banks' army below 
Franklin, going through a country that was three-fourths 
marsh and one-eighth lagoons, bayous, overflowing creeks and 
rivers. I can here truthfully say that noi army ever marched 
through any country under more difficulties, with such trials, 
tribulations and sufferings as we did in going through south- 
eastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana. 

We rendezvoused on Bayou Salle, Louisiana, near Frank- 
lin, and who that is living today that was there with 'me can 
think of our boggy, watery camp^ground but would in doing 
so bring on rheumatic pains and all else which a, few weeks of 
such life is guaranteed to produce on any man before he ar- 
rives at the age of fifty, and from then on, all sorts of suffer- 

Our horses were fed on half rations of corn and shucks 
and we were put on half rations of corn-meal and pickled 
steers, called pickled beef, which had been packed the previous 
winter in New Iberia, Louisiana, rock salt, which contained 
enough saltpeter, naturally or artificially I shall never be able 
to tell, toi solidify this beef that after boiling it two or three 
days it became still more solidified. The saltpeter gave us 
all sore mouths and sore tongues and sorry souls, but a greater 


' love and a stronger hope of home and loved ones we had left 
behind to be sent down here in this land of alligators and other 
crawling reptiles and winged birds called mosquitoes. We 
had " water all around, but not a drop tot drink,'' except that we 
had green Louisiana rum, made of sour molasses, warranted 
two doses to make a man fight his mother-in-law's remem- 

The guns that we had were of all sorts, sizes and com- 
plexions, ages and conditions, and the ammunition we received 
was nearly all a misfit. Our officers from the captains up 
were quartered in the planters' mansions, while all the natives 
had been quartered in the barns and sugar-houses, while we, 
poor private soldier, trash from Texas, were sent out in the 

After a stay here of days sufficient to have placed the great 
majority of us in a hospital, only that we had no hos- 
pital or hospital supplies, we received the welcome news 
that the Federal army under General Banks had crossed at 
where Morgan City now stands and that he was sending his 
gunboats and marching his army toward where we afterward 
found out a fort had been built on Bayou Boef, on Bissland's 
plantation, mounted with nine what was, then and is yet known 
as "Long Toms" (a six-inch smooth-bore eighteen- foot long 
cast-iron cannon, cast when Thomas Jefferson was President 
of the United States, to be mounted at all ports of entry for 
home protection), that, when charged with forty pounds of 
powder and a six-inch cast-iron ball rammed home and was 
fired off, one could hear the wabbling of the ball in that bore, 
and death was the doom of the cannoneer who stood 1 anywhere 
near that infernal machine, which was; sure to jump out of 
its trunnions, especially if the piece was in the least depressed. 

From> the fort across the large plantation three-fourths of 
a mile a large embankment had been thrown up, behind which 
three or four thousand Louisiana natives had been placed. 


They had been armed with the very best modern man-killing 
guns, English Enfield rifles, newly brought across the country 
from Mexico'. 

The Federal boats were armed with thirty-two^pound rifled 
steel-and-brass field pieces. They made a feint on the fort, 
which was no more than open breastworks. The fort was 
protected by the Texas cavalry, whose horses were a mile or 
two in the rear. Shot and shell from the gunboats went over 
the fort, exploding and kicking up a furious noise among our 
horse holders and our Texas mustang ponies, that had been 
somewhat used to electric storms and possibly thunderbolts, 
but kicked and otherwise raised thunder among themselves at 
having all this come in on them when the sun was shining. 

Our "Long Toms" were fired and the: Yankee gunboats re- 
tired. This gave us a chance to* remount our pieces, take off 
the dead and look after our wounded, caused by the jumping 
of our guns out of their bearings. 

While we were being held there by the Federals they sent 
nine thousand infantry, without cavalry or artillery, under 
General Graver, on transports around to. our rear, eighteen 
or twenty miles off, four miles west and north of Franklin, 
where they landed in very good order, as I have been informed 
and verily believe, at Irish bend. They had only four miles to 
march to reach a point that would have completely cut off the 
Right Reverend General Dick Taylor's army and captured 
everything including our brigade and all the other Texans who 
were there. 

Our scouts — if we had any, and if not our Generals 
must have dreamed it — became wise and onto this move in 
time to send the mounted men to meet and repulse it. This 
was done by an early morning battle with five pieces, of ar- 
tillery and three thousand dismounted cavalrymen on our side. 
The Federals, nine thousand strong, had driven us off the 
field and had captured our battery. We had retreated to> the 


opposite side of a wood, through which and next to the bayou 
a wide road meandered. 

Colonel Riley, elsewhere referred to, who was in command, 
was killed early in the action, as were also four or five hun- 
dred other men who had come through the swamps from 
Texas. The Federals were marching on us through the woods 
at a rapid rate, while we were grouped together like so> many 
badly scared boys, looking for a leader, wk> finally showed 
up in the person of Major Hamilton, and who was so busy 
trying to light his pipe while his horse was prancing round at 
a furious rate that he did not recognize that he was the com- 
mander of the situation. I always shall believe that he was as 
badly scared as I was. 

I had been in prison in my day and calculated upon an- 
other term. Coming down the road a little way from the 
group of men I saw, by peeping around a clump of blackberry 
bushes, the Federals limbering up our field battery and bring- 
ing the horses into proper line, whereupon I screamed so loud 
that my voice was heard by every Yankee and every Confed- 
erate on the other side: "Clear the road for the cavalry!" 
which was re-shouted in an instant by the twelve or fifteen hun- 
dred men near, as only well-scared men can shout. 

The Yankees knew that they had no cavalry and had been 
told that they were going to face the terrific and terrible New 
Mexico-Texan Sibley brigade of ferocious Rough Riders. I 
heard a few horns toot down on the Yankee side. I went a 
little farther and I never saw men running so in all my life, 
forming in solid squares out in the canefield. I was afterward 
told by the commander that he thought that there were ten 
thousand Texas cavalrymen coming down the road. 

We retook our battery which the Yankees had so kindly 
limbered up and made ready for use, and started double-quick 
for our horses. It was four hours or more before the Federal 


commander found that he had been bamboozled, fooled and 
likewise deceived, and commenced the forward march. 

In the meantime General Taylor and our other long-headed 
and wise commanders (?) had retreated from the Bissland 
battle-field, Fort Bissland on the bayou referred to before, and 
we all crossed over the long bridge in safety and planted our 
field batteries on the opposite side, when. General Grover came 
down with his boys in blue and General Franklin came rush- 
ing up with his flying artillery and mounted infantry from 
Bissland. Night came on and we pulled out of the scene to 
New Iberia, where three days afterward there might have been 
a battle but that our ammunition, if not wet, at least was a 
little moist, and we started for the rear ; those under command 
toward Alexandria and those in desperate want of home com- 
forts toward Niblit's Bluff, Texas; very few of whom ever 
afterward heard the sound o>f their own reveille toot-horns, 
much less Yankee cannon or musketry. 

I made a mistake and took the right-hand road instead 
of the left one leading to Texas, and was a few days after- 
ward made a prisoner of war in the town of Washington, 
where I had gone to> a hospital unable longer to go farther. 

It was told the Federal commander that I was a man of 
no rank but possessed of wonderful information. He sent 
for me, thinking to gain thereby. I was in a dying condition, 
so considered. General Banks ordered his chief surgeon to 
come to me, and I believe that my life was saved thereby. 
This doctor proved to> be the father of the Rev. Mr. Rogers, 
the presiding minister of the O. S. P. Church at Seguin, 
Texas, to which my father belonged. He recognized my 
name, having visited my folks. To him and to General Banks 
I owe all, and no man can accuse me of ever being ungrateful. 
I met them both after the war, and better and nobler and more 
Christian men I never had the pleasure of becoming acquainted 
with. The commander learned nothing from me, for I abso- 


lutely knew as little as General Dick Taylor did himself or any 
other of his officers. 

Here at this time I quit the Confederate service for a good 
long season, to be confined in the Belleville Iron Works in Al- 
giers, opposite New Orleans, with a mixed crowd of Louisi- 
ana natives and Texans. After being in this prison a month 
or more I was picked out as one of twenty of the most con- 
spicuous, and of course good looking, Confederates who were 
to be sent to the Parish Prison in New Orleans and there held 
in solitary confinement as hostages for the safe return of Cap^ 
tain J. L. Dwight, who had been captured while acting as a 
spy within the Confederate lines near Of>polassas. 

This affair was settled a few days thereafter, and as though 
we had not seen enough of the dark holes of that damp 
dungeon prison we were chained together two and two, my 
companion being the noted Louisiana fighting scout, Bailey 
Vincent, and I can show the marks of that handcuff on my 
left wrist. We were put on board of a steamer and sent to 
Ship Island, a verdureless sand dune near the mouth of the 
Mississippi River, where we were huddled into close quarters 
and unshackled and fed on as good as the Federals had, and 
were told that we were held as hostages for Major Montgom- 
ery of the First Texas Federal Cavalry, who had been cap- 
tured somewhere down near Corpus Christi Bay, and who', 
we had been told, had been cruelly assassinated by the Texans 
capturing him. He had lived for many years in and, if I mis- 
take not, was born in Texas. Many of his relatives, all of 
whom, like himself, were Union men, had been captured and 
hung in their efforts toi leave the State of Texas, by Huff's 
regiment of Texas murderers, just as the Committee of Public 
Safety in Fort Bend County had threatened to do> and would 
have done with me had they have gotten on a big drunk the 
night before I escaped, and of which I have told elsewhere. 

The order came for our transfer back to Algiers, and I 


never did know, and never will, whether Major Montgomery 
had been captured, killed or returned. 

When we reached the prison in Algiers we were welcomed 
by our old comrades, who had been told that we had been 
deliberately shot. The Louisianans who were in prison with 
us were afraid to communicate with their friends and rela- 
tives in the city of New Orleans, and it was but natural they 
should be since of the tales that were told of the monstrous 
cruelties that were being perpetrated on the citizens of New 
Orleans of Confederate sympathies, and especially regarding 
the treatment the fair daughters of New Orleans and the most 
loved ones were receiving and had received at the hands of 
Old Beast Butler, known alsoi as "Spoon Butler," a cock-eyed, 
bald-pated, beetle-browed, fox-faced, lizard-chinned mon- 
strosity, as well as Northern Democrat, and who many years 
after this New Orleans affair was seriously discussed by the 
Solid South Democrats as the possible winning candidate at 
the time the Democrats nominated a yet worse old devil, of 
whom I will have a page or more, if not a full chapter, to tell 
hereafter — Horace Greeley. 

How the mighty hath fallen, and how wonderfully they 
have changed, and how quick they have been about both, ! The 
idea of a Southern gentleman licking the foul hands and em- 
bracing the accursed carcass of such as "Beast Butler" and 
Horace Greeley, and call it Democracy ! 

That General Dick Taylor was the son of his father, Old 
Rough-and-Ready General Zachary Taylor, of glorious mem- 
ory, was one reason why he was put in command of the Army 
of Louisiana, and the other was for the same reason that 
Lovell, Duncan and Pemberton superseded Southern generals 
and patriots. General Dick Taylor was a brother-in-law of 
the President of the Confederacy, who was mighty good to> all 
of his relations, near, distant or remote. I do not remember 
of ever having heard of one who was not provided for with 


some office at the expense of the Southern cause and South- 
ern people. 

Of my personal liking and experiences I shall refer in a 
future chapter, and if what I may say shall make any oif the 
old Confederates wince and swear at the truth being told, as 
has been in the past pages, "so mote it be," for I am not in 
this game to advance and promote the interest of any knave 
or fool or the descendant thereof, who in any manner, shape 
or form is responsible for or aided the ruination and the dis- 
grace of the people of the South by bringing about a war and 
handling it in such a way as to disgrace every man who had 
anything to do with its handling, except those who were re- 
tired by the Administration at Richmond, as they tried to do 
with General Robert E. Lee after the battle of Gettysburg, 
but stalwart patriotism and Southern chivalry of the grand 
and noble sort and style, boldly proclaimed in the City of Rich- 
mond, that if Lee was forced to resign the head of the Admin- 
istration would roll as a football on Broad Street. 

The feeling of the Confederate army which had done the 
fighting and who' had suffered the losses, against the Admin- 
istration was becoming so bitter at the close of the war as to 
all but invite revolt. On the ninth and tenth of July, 1864, the 
feeling was so intense in the City of Richmond against the 
Administration that General Winder's Provost Guard dis- 
banded, and I with my own eyes saw, and with my own ears 
heard that which all of the friends of the Administration have 
assiduously sought to obliterate, kill and forever destroy. 

I visited Castle Thunder and Libby Prison, and but for a 
speech which was made by the Maine anti-liquor-white-liv- 
ered- Yankee-General Neal Dow, who had been convicted in 
Alabama for stealing piano keys, while on a raid through a 
portion of the State in which were no 1 soldiers or home de- 
fenders, and had been sent to the penitentiary, and who had 
been released by the Governor of Alabama upon the request 


of the Administration in Richmond because eighty-five Con- 
federate officers of Johnson's Island had been put in solitary 
confinement and held as hostages there until Neal Dow was 
released, just as I had been put in solitary confinement in New 
Orleans for Captain Dwight and afterwards in Ship Island 
for Major Montgomery. 

There was no guard around Castle Thunder or Libby 
Prison neither. A Federal officer, whose name I never could 
get, rose up and called for volunteers to> follow him and to 
take up arms and to go to Libby Prison and from there pro^ 
ceed to the Capitol and capture the Confederacy. He had 
been out on the street as I had been and saw the situation — 
utter demoralization, no order, no government. He created a 
great enthusiasm, and I plainly saw right there the doom of 
the Confederacy and the last of the Administration which had 
brought on the doom, and I expected to see some hot times 
that day in Richmond. 

At this juncture the aforesaid Neal Dow rose up and ap^ 
pealed to them not to do this but to wait, that possibly within 
a few hours the sound of Mead's army would be heard on the 
heights around Richmond. I was so incensed at the white-liv- 
ered old coward's talk that I felt like pulling my six-shooter 
and killing him on the spot, for above all things on this earth 
I hate a coward as I hate a hypocrite, and he was both, and 
this, too, regardless as to which side he belonged. 

My home was out at Camp Lee Prison parole ground, 
where for three days and nights we received no> rations, and 
we poor Confederate devils, who were under parole to not lift 
up arms against the Federal Government until duly exchanged, 
were really at the mercy of both sides. I shall never forget the 
speech that General Roger A. Pryor made on a bridge which 
spanned the street between two of the principal hotels, and 
how the thousands who heard him applauded. 

He pointed to a bulletin board on which was written a 


dispatch from General R. E, Lee to J. Davis., Esq., President 
of, etc., etc., who had held back an army which if Lee had, 
and expected to have, and as had been ordered, might have 
saved the battle of Gettysburg for the Confederacy, and who 
had intimated that his resignation might be accepted. This 
dispatch read in substance about as follows : 

"That if in the wisdom of the Government my resignation 
would be acceptable it shall be tendered forthwith, to take 
effect immediately, or as soon as my successor shall be able to 
take command in the field.' ' 

If Davis trembled when he was captured in his wife's 
gown, when he and his surrounders and all arounders heard 
the wild yell and the maddening hisses which all but split the 
throats of every Virginian and all who> had been true to the 
cause; if he penned the dispatch himself which was sent 
within five minutes after General P'ryor had promised that his 
head should play as a football on Broad Street and the original 
could be produced, I would gamble all my earthly wealth that 
it was written so> tremblingly that he was glad when he got 
done with it. 

Pryor called upon the Virginians toi go* back to their posts 
and take up their arms and protect the city, which was 
promptly done, and old General Winder, who, by the way, was 
not very distantly related to* the family whose name I bear, 
who a few days before had been all of a tyrant that he could 
be, reassumed command like a little lost purring kitten or a 
tender unmarked lamb, and reminded me of old Jacob Town- 
send's patent medicine advertisement of two* pictures, repre- 
senting one man then and now, or before and after taking 
Bull's Sarsaparilla. 

In order that my account shall properly chime in, I shall 
in the next chapter tell of what I left out, and which should 
have preceded this one but for reasons known to myself, and 
that may be guessed at by others why I do as I have. 


The Brigade rendezvoused at Milican, Texas, in Novem- 
ber after our return from the disgraceful, because it was not 
officered, and disastrous, because it was not properly provided 
for, campaign of New Mexicoi. We came together with new 
horses and quartermasters and commissary supplies as ordered, 
bringing with us fully one-half, in point of numbers, of Texas 
conscripts, boys just out of the cradle, old men just ready to 
step into the deep, dark beyond, filling our ranks to the orig- 
inal number and requirements. 

There was corn if no wine and milk in Egypt, and there 
was more meat, both hog and beef, as well as corn on the 
Brazos, both sides up and down from where it empties into 
the Gulf 'way up Waco way. Our horses and mules did fatten 
amazingly, and we old boys and the conscripts did well, and 
by drilling between the rains and storms, which I always con- 
sidered was done to show off the officers' new uniforms and 
authority vastly more than for any good it did the men or the 
service, we did enjoy ourselves the two> months we were in 
camp at Milican and Hempstead, and, as it was, we got along 
fairly well. 

What became of General Sibley along about this time no 
one ever knew, but it was generally supposed that he crawled 
into a jug hole and pulled the jug and hole in after him. Our 
Brigade orders came signed by Colonel Green, he of the Sec- 
ond Regiment, and who was the senior officer at this time, by 
reason oif Colonel Riley's being called to Richmond to give an 
account of his having failed to swipe off, by bamboozling or 
otherwise, the four Northern Mexican States and to apologize 
for "Sibley's failure, and no doubt to tell why Jack Hayes, an 



old Texan, and Judge Terry, another — he who killed Senator 
Brodericks — and a lot of other similar Southern puffs in Cali- 
fornia, had not done as promised. 

Colonel Riley was a man of deep patriotism and statesman- 
ship. He had no equal in all the West. I was told by a man 
near the "Crown Head" that his explanation did not suit the 
Administration, but it had to go. 

Colonel Green was a man who, when out of whisky, was 
a mild mannered gentleman, but when in good supply of old 
burst-head was all fight. He was like the fellow who was so 
keen for a fight that he set a buzz saw in motion. Green was 
killed at Blair's Landing in Louisiana by a cannon shot from 
a gunboat which was out in the river nearly on a level with 
the levee, and which was ten feet higher than the field over 
which Green charged with a raw Texas regiment (Wood's) 
that had never been in a fight before. Green placed himself 
at their head and with a yell told them that he was going to 
show them how to fight. Had they had as much Louisiana 
rum under their belts as Green had, my sympathies for the 
dead would not have been so great as they were. 

Three hundred and more were killed in less time than it 
takes me to< tell it, while riding into the mouths of these death- 
dealing, belching, grape-and-canister-loaded cannons from the 
gunboats out in the stream. Of all the fool acts of all the 
Confederate history this excelled them all. Yet there are peo^ 
pie in Texas today who believe that when they die they will 
go to Tom Green o»n the other side of the River. I hope that 
my future Guide and Protector will not land me in that camp. 

On the night of the twenty-seventh of December we re- 
ceived orders to> leave our horses in charge of a detail and take 
the train at Hempstead and Milican and goi to Houston ; no 
man knew why, but it was believed that the Federals had 
landed on the mainland from o>ff Galveston and were marching 
to Houston. 


General J. Bankhead McGruder, who had done some drink- 
ing and fighting down in Virginia and who* had said some- 
thing which did not please the Administration, was sent out 
and placed in command of the District of Texas, etc. I believe 
that it was decided a draw as between McGruder and Sibley 
and about all other old army officers, as to which one could 
destroy the most whiskey, regardless of its brand, and mix it 
up with gin, brandy and rum and even sour lager beer. 

McGruder had an adjutant general who was a gentle- 
man and who never drank ; that is., I never saw him, and who 
was always on guard. McGruder concluded to show the Fed- 
erals, about twelve hundred strong in Galveston and with four 
gunboats and a revenue cutter, the Harriett Lane, a combina- 
tion of a Virginian and Texas trick, and in furtherance of the 
same had filled up some big flatboats with cotton all around 
and a bow-and-aft chaser, six-pound brass piece, with Texas 
Rangers packed in between. Three steamers that had plied 
between Galveston and Houston for a generation or more were 
baled all around with cotton and mounted with cannons and 
aft chasers, with several nine-inch guns on each. 

This flotilla, loaded with twelve or fifteen hundred men, 
was moored in at Lynchburg and our land forces were held 
back at Virginia Point on the mainland, calculating that when 
the signal was given to move, the land forces could make the 
center of the city simultaneously with the arrival of the flotilla, 
the latter attacking the gunboats, and the former the land 
forces behind the cotton compress walls. 

Exactly at twelve o'clock on the first day of January, the 
very first minutes of the New Year's life, 1864, the signal for 
an advance was sounded, and away went "Colly and the 
wagon, Tray, Blanch and Sweetheart." At four o'clock the 
first shot was fired on the water. Then it was that the 
"Rangers of the land greeted the Rangers of the sea" and the 
fighting commenced, we double-quicking to our assigned posi- 


tion of assault. The Federal gunboats had no idea of an attack 
from anything in the rear and they lined up to bombard the 
city beyond the compresses, whidi were on the wharves, and 
to otherwise discommode and make it unpleasant for "we- 

The gunboat Owassa lay at the foot of Tremont street, 
down which abo'Ut one thousand of the Old Brigade (the 
others were on the flotilla or gunboats) was double-quicking 
for position. A twelve-inch shot was fired which went about 
ten feet over our heads and landed somewhere towards the 
middle of the Gulf of Mexico*. I never heard such a cyclone 
of peculiar hospital feelings as that produced. The Federals 
were on to us, and the next shot which, came out of that same 
gun just skimmed the face of the earth and, after rolling and 
bouncing over the mile and one-half of street to the Gulf, 
recherched, and the last I saw of it it was on its way to Tarn- 
pico», Mexicoi 

We were rushed in behind the Custom House, a brick 
building which had been erected only a short time before the 
commencement of hostilities, and were ordered to be still. By 
this time the balls and shot and shell from the Federal fleet 
was playing havoc with the brick and stone buildings that were 
then on the island, and mortar and dust and brickbats and 
pieces of shells were about as thick as anyone ever saw weasels 
in a barnyard, and there we were in a very dilapidated if not 
scared condition, for to> be placed in a position where you can- 
not fight back is one of the dreadful things that a soldier has 
no liking for. 

In my company we had a fiddler, a song bird and all- 
around jolly-maker, who did more to> keep up the spirits of our 
marching sufferers on the retreat, with his old fiddle and bow, 
than all else. He weighed less than one hundred pounds, and 
though little, was, like the Irishman's pig, old, and was always 
giving us amusement and something to laugh at. He was in 


the very middle of the twelve hundred soldiers, packed like 
sardines, behind the Custom House, when he whispered in a 
loud voice that all heard: 

"Boys, be still, for if them Yankees 

hear us and find out where we are they will bring out that 

gun they have got that shoots around the corners." 

Such a laugh as went up was only what might be expected 
of men placed as we were. Soldiers on the eve of battle either 
want to pray, cry or laugh, and if they can just get to laughing 
you have got them ready for a fight. Treat is a sure winner. 

We had scarcely become still again when bim — ! sounded 
a ten or twelve-inch steel-pointed three-foot-long ball, fired 
from a rifled piece. It struck the slanting railroad bars that 
had been put in the structure as rafters, and it plowed the slate 
roof in a most fearful way and pointed its nose straight up, 
perpendicular, and it seemed to me — I saw it plainly — that it 
went somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty-five hundred 
feet in the air to get a sight of where we were and then it 
turned around and came down, right in our midst, and I am 
sure that it penetrated the earth one thousand feet or more. 
It did not burst and this made the Federals on the Owassa turn 
a broadside on us, and in a few minutes we were literally cov- 
ered with brick and mortar and were in a condition of collapse 
when all of a sudden we heard a different sound. 
Firing on us ceased and some men yelled out : 
"Tom Green and his Rangers of the sea are in sight !" 
No marine battle was ever fought from which, a more beau- 
tiful sea engagement could have been painted. The boats on 
both sides closed in and it became a hand-to-hand fight. We 
captured the Harriett Lane after having jarred its larboard 
wheel with a solid shot; our men scaled the netting and the 
fight became pirate-like, hand-to-hand. Its gallant com- 
mander, Captain Lee, fell dead on the bridge. We buried him 
the next day with all the honors of war and by his side the 


brave men whose blood painted the Harriett Lane's top, center 
and bottom cabins red. 

Wainright, commanding the fleet, blew his flagship, the 
Westerfield, up. The engagement lasted perhaps an hour. The 
land forces quickly surrendered and Galveston was again at- 
tached to the Confederacy. Our loss in this engagement was 
not so great as might have been expected. We captured a 
large amount of Government supplies, which were much 
needed, for we had become tired of Texas beef and rancid 
bacon and corn dodger without coffee. 

Before this time I had lost all hopes of the Confederacy 
and I was not making myself very active. Yet I was always 
to be found on duty and do not remember oi ever having 
shown the white feather. What I thought I told noi man, but 
it was in substance that if my record could be made clean I 
would go to the rear and keep on going until I struck a coun- 
try where there was no* danger of its being invaded. I might 
fill pages in telling of what occurred in Galveston and Houston 
in the next few months, for we had lively times. 

News of our victory was conveyed to Nassau, N. P., with 
all possible dispatch, from Galveston via Wilmington, North 
Carolina, then and for a long time afterwards the center for 
blockade runners, and "blockade-running" ships that were 
loaded, intended for Wilmington, were sent to Galveston, 
where in the course of a few months nearly twenty were un- 
loaded and reloaded with cotton, which paid for the ammuni- 
tion and ordnance, principally Napoleon brass pieces, which 
were worked off on the Confederacy, and were as absolutely 
worthless as were our old cast-iron "Long Tolms. ,, 

France, Austria, Germany and England had a snap work- 
ing off on the Confederacy their old obsolete arms and ammu- 
nition, and of course our purchasing agents were not all fools 
and not one of them ever returned to the Confederacy, and 
why should they? 


It had always been my opinion that the cotton which was 
shipped to England by and through the blockade runners and 
through Mexico, and the many thousands of bales which were 
taken down Red River and the Mississippi in broad daylight 
and right before the eyes of us Confederate boys, called French 
cotton, made up a balance of many and many millions of 
dollars to the cerdit of the so-called Confederate States, but 
which was drazvable by the same agents who deposited it, and 
thus the incident was closed. 

I was both on to and up toi this job and would have been 
one of them myself had not the Federal blockading fleet of 
Galveston come in port and cut the blockade runner "Lucy 
Gwinne" from the wharf and taken it out to sea a prize. She 
had only about forty bales of cotton on her. Had they waited 
about ten or fifteen days longer they would have gotten a 
full cargo of compressed cotton and "me to," as Pratt said. 

This cotton was ostensibly going out under the name of 
the Confederacy and to buy more old effete and worthless 
French cannon, but I knew better, and so did the men who 
put up the money to buy the cotton. They were middle-aged 
men and surely never had the sad and sorrowful experience 
that I have had with my fellow men and their foibles, frail- 
ties and all-around cussedness or they would not have trusted 
me as they did and were going to in this matter. 

In those days the scramble was for a position that gave a 
man an opportunity to steal. I was not engaged in any stealing 
business and I know that if my life had been spared and I had 
landed in the port to which we were to sail, every dollar would 
have been accounted for and I would yet have had enough of 
my own to have lived in all sorts of comfort on the other side, 
and this all I knew as well as I knew that "the gal I left be- 
hind me" would have joined me on the Rhine. 

But for the feeling which pervaded my breast, and, secret 
though it was, pervaded the breast of every other intelligent 


man of the Confederacy, there might have been some show 
for asking, demanding and receiving terms and conditions. 
The man who declared that the Confederacy would win out 
was looked upon as a liar or a fool, and no remarks were 
made by any intelligent person on hearing a fool or knave so 

The Conscript Act in its way was no worse than the Tith- 
ing Act, which took from ten to fifty per cent of everything 
that was raised and produced, from chickens up. Who- raised 
four bales of cotton had to give one to* the Government, and 
for the privilege of taking his three to the market he was also 
required to take the other, which was to be turned over to* 
the Government Agent, who was to see that it was shipped 
to some agent in England designated by the Government in 
Richmond. The part of the Government that did get over 
were in clover — Jeff did not make it, and those who did sent 
him none of the steal. 

If you wanted to take six bales oif cotton to Mexico to» 
buy supplies, you had to transport two for the Government, 
and then you had to take one-fourth of your freight back to 
Government account. There were places in the Confederacy, 
like Jackson, Mississippi, which was the most notorious, where 
a private Confederate soldier was not allowed to walk on the 
sidewalk. This was in the days of Pemberton, whom the Gov- 
ernment had sent first to Charleston, South Carolina, which 
they supposed was made impregnable by Beauregard, whom 
they removed when it was thought he might have gained a 
signal victory. 

Beauregard was sent to* Vicksburg and he was fixing up 
the line of defense in a thorough manner when the Government 
sent Pemberton from Charleston to take command at Vicks- 
burg, and Beauregard was laid on the shelf. I never met this 
Pemberton, but I was told by many that he was a lover of John 
Barley-corn, was an autocrat and a great ladies' man, who, 


instead of provisioning Vicksburg and attending to his duties, 
was attending balls and big ovations given him by the ladies 
of Mississippi, aided largely, I suppose, by Scott's and Wort 
Adams' Cavalry, to which I have made reference before. 

The loss of eight thousand men at Big Black, when Grant 
started toi invest Vicksburg, was, as I have always believed, the 
fruits of inattention to anything else but drinking whisky. 
With these eight thousand men properly officered and handled 
• — for they were the best that were ever marshaled in any cause 
— Grant could not have invested Vicksburg as he did and 
without ten times the loss he sustained. 

The Confederacy sustained its first heavy loss in my opin- 
ion in the death oif General Albert Sidney Johnston at Shiloh. 
The fall of Fort Donelson was a foregone conclusion, as was 
the capture of Arkansas Post to all who knew of the situation 
and the lay of the country. There never was marshaled in 
battle array a braver soldiery than that of the Confederate 
army, and in no one instance of the war can it be shown where 
failure to hold their point or to gain ground was attributable to 
anything else than incompetency of their commanders, pos- 
sibly excepting the fights around Richmond, where Lee had 
such a hold on his army that the Government could not dis- 
place him, and in whom his soldiers had the most wonderful 

I look back at those days and am amazed at how the people 
and the soldiery were kept from revolting and demanding a 
new deal all around. We had many as great soldiers as Lee, 
and as Joseph E. Johnson and Stonewall Jackson, but they 
were handicapped and ordered back, as were the advancing 
army at the battle oif Manassas, when it as good as had the 
city of Washington. 

I am not saying but that the war ended as fate decreed it 
should from the start, but I am saying that the man who) spent 
his time in the service, as I did, and who was willing at all 


times to make any sort of sacrifice for his country, never has 
said that it ended according to his liking and that he was 
glad that it ended as it did. 

I have heard men who professed to have been in more 
battles than I ever could have lived through say to Northern 
gatherings, Grand Army of the Republic reunions and in 
public places, that they were glad that it ended as it did. I 
thought then, do yet, and will die so' thinking, that the man 
who believed that these men were telling the truth was too. 
big a fool to be a citizen of this great republic, much less a 

I made a declaration of this nature to a considerable num- 
ber of men who were fighting Federals, and who without an 
exception agreed with me, and they alsoi agreed with me that 
the Southern man who took such a position became the more 
loyal a citizen of the United States upon taking the oath of 
allegiance than did those sycophants who had two ways of 
talking. I have found that this class of men when in a crowd 
of Southern men were the ones who> abused the Yankees the 
most and who were the loudest Democrats when they were 
anywhere down South, but who never failed to tell their 
Northern neighbors that they always voted the Republican 

For declaring as I did I was called upon and billed to 
make a talk. Some people say that I have made some good 
speeches or can make a good speech, but I have never thought 
so, yet am conscious of the fact that I can make a good talk. 

Before my time came to talk I had hired a man in the 
crowd to ask that I first tell how it was that I was here It 
this great dedicatory occasion. After being introduced by a 
toastmaster who pronounced a panegyric on me or over me, 
this question was asked from the assembly, which I proceeded 
to answer after having cautioned all old soldiers present not 
to be surprised at the answer that I was going to give and 


telling all the ladies and young men and others who never 
had seen service in the tented or battlefield that it was not their 
"put" and that they must not express surprise at my explana- 
tion as to "why I was here to-night." 

After thus talking to the audience until they had become 
anxious to receive the answer to the question, in substance 
I said: 

"Up to the close of the war with the States no Yankee 
had been born who was able to make a powder that was quick 
enough, that had strength enough to send a chunk of lead fast 
enough to overtake me when I started for the rear, and that 
I was like Jehu's horse, always able to sniff a battle from afar." 

In the excitement, hollering and hurrahing, I got from the 
platform and was never afterward seen in that place. 

My contention has always been that had the people of the 
South been led by competent leaders, terms could have been 
secured that would have left the people, both white and black, 
in altogether different and better circumstances. Every nig- 
ger in the South could have been paid for and sent to Africa or 
some other country with far less money than was robbed from 
them in the days of reconstruction, to say nothing of the losses 

In my day and time I have had many different opinions, 
but on this question I have never changed my mind and never 
will, and no man who will go through the South and see, as I 
have in the past few years, and who can remember oif having 
seen it fifty years ago, will say that I am wrong. The in- 
telligent man who knows the negro's character can never ex- 
pect the condition of affairs in the South to improve, but must 
reasonably expect them toi grow worse. No intelligent, hon- 
est man dare say that the negro* is capable of self-government, 
and no 1 education will ever make him capable. 

The negro's make-up and character, as is the case of all 


Southern races of off-color, has no more of the element of 
gratefulness than there is to be found in a cat, a tiger or a 
wolf. In this one particular point they differ so greatly from 
the Anglo-Saxon race that it cannot be appreciated by people 
who have not a thorough knowledge of the negro, from other 
than absolute personal contact and experience. 

I have observed in the last few years that all the able-bodied 
negroes, men and women, are flocking to> the cities and going 
farther North in every move they make, and the effect it is 
having in these cities. I recently passed through a neighbor- 
hood where a few years ago there were one hundred and sixty 
negro voters, that today has not a single voter in it, and only 
about forty old, decrepit niggers live in the district. In the 
large cities of the South, like Atlanta, Georgia, you can see 
them by the hundreds standing around on the streets. Their 
wives and daughters can get service in a kitchen in a private 
house and can earn from one toi ten times as much as they 
could earn on the farm, and with their .wages they can sup- 
port a family of men folks in idleness. 

The negro who once leaves a farm can never be induced 
to return, except it may be to cut cane or pick cotton, and when 
he has been paid for his day's labor there is no 1 assurance that 
he will be found there at work the next day. They are rapidly 
acquiring the ability of living for days at a time without any- 
thing to eat, and it is surprising to know on what a small 
amount they can subsist. In the days of slavery a peck of 
meal, two ounces of salt and two 1 pounds of bacon were a nig- 
ger's weekly rations. I believe that there are thousands of 
them today who are living on less than that. They rely upon 
filling up when they go to do a day's work spading in a garden. 

It is a part of a nigger's natural make-up to be indolent, 
insolent and thievish, I am only one of the many who believe 
that these traits cannot be educated out of them in many gen- 
erations of time. To the man who has traveled in Mexico and 

(See Page 156,) 


Cuba, as well as in Egypt, India and the Orient, and has un- 
derstood the conditions of affairs with the people of these coun- 
tries, it will be perfectly plain that the negro question in the 
United States is one that will not down and one that no legis- 
lation will benefit, change or alter. 

That they are on the increase and have been since the war 
one need only to look to the census reports to bcome convinced, 
while on the other hand, taking out the emigration, the white 
population in the South is on the decrease, and the products 
of the country, excepting it be the spots where only vegetables 
and fruits can be raised for the Northern markets, are on the 
wane. Its tobacco and its once "King Cotton" are not what 
they were even a few years ago*; the soil has become so ex- 
hausted in the greater area of the Southern States that we can 
only expect to see it become more and more depopulated. 

The South is no country for the industrious young man to 
go to, unless he goes there in the employ of a railroad or some 
banking institution, and it is a good country for all men to 
keep away from, excepting men whom nature calls to a warmer 
climate in winter time and who have the wherewith to live on 
there without labor, coming from a dividend-paying source 
in the North. 


After I had been returned to the Iron Works at Algiers, 
Louisiana — which is opposite the City of New Orleans — I re- 
joined a great number of my old Texas and Louisiana com- 
rades, who, like myself, had been captured along on the fir- 
ing lines. I was astonished at first that the Louisianans were 
not making it known to the ladies of New Orleans or their 
friends there that they were in prison. Remembering the 
name of an old friend, I wrote to her through the courtesy of 
the Provost Marshal in command of the prison, who' was both 
a gentleman, a Christian and a soldier, Colonel J. B. Robinson 
oif the Twenty-Sixth Massachusetts Infantry, and who was 
still living in 1904. 

That he was a brave man no one could dispute, for he 
treated his prisoners as only a brave man could. We were 
fed on as good as the Federal soldiers were, which was about 
one to' five hundred per cent better than what we had been ac- 
customed to having. Yet there were a great number who 
complained who had not, as I had from the first, realized what 
General Sherman said of war, that "it was hell." 

I was sent in from the city baskets of good things to eat, 
and it was but a few days before I was allowed to* meet a num- 
ber of ladies in the Provost Marshal's office, who put no spy 
over us, but gave us every liberty and privilege a brave man 
could give a captive. 

I told of the Louisianans whoi were in prison, and among 
them quite a number of old citizens and planters who were not 
9oldiers and should not have been there and would not have 
been there but for the very reasons that about all of the sugar 



houses and cotton plantations were destroyed by fire, of which 
I will tell hereafter. 

These old men had charges hatched up against them and 
were made to suffer without cause. Orally it had reached 
New Orleans that at the battle of Irish Bend I had been the 
means of saving the army of Louisiana, and I was unbe- 
knownly lionized to an extent that surprised me and which 
afterward brought me trouble in this way. 

A cowardly Yankee cur was appointed Provisional Gov- 
ernor df the State of Louisiana and his name was Sharkey. 
He took it into his head that a man of such prominence as I 
must be an officer of high rank, and that I was lying when 
claiming to be only a private soldier. He sent a file of sol- 
diers after me and I was brought into his august presence in 
the Custom House, where his office was, and he opened out 
in a bombastic, domineering manner by telling me that I was 
a lying rebel, and that he was going to put me in chains and 
send me to the dungeon for misrepresenting my position in the 
army. He would not allow me to put in any sort of a plea 
or statement, for he said from the start that he would not be- 
lieve me on oath. Though hot-headed and quick of temper, I 
have always been fortunate enough to keep cool under trying 
circumstances, and this was not the first time, therefore I was 
in a measure prepared. 

This coward was cavorting around, damning and cursing 
all rebels, and Texans in particular, when I espied General 
Franklin, whom I did not know as such but who had the marks 
of rank on his shoulders and collar, and I addressed him in 
about this wise, pointing my finger to him : 

"Sir, I appeal to you for protection. My name is Theo. 
Noel. Will you carry a message to General Banks and Doc- 
tor Rodgers?" 

He looked me square in the face and said : "I shall, sir." 


Whereupon the cowardly slink, Sharkey, called Governor, 
flunked and said : 

"I can send a message to him. Why didn't you tell me 
that you wanted to> talk with the General in command?" 

I said nothing in reply until after he had again commenced 

swearing that he would get even with all the 

Texan Ranger rebels out of . 

The General, who recognized my signature, sent his aid- 
de-camp with all dispatch to General Banks, who* sent his Act- 
ing Adjutant General with orders to release and send me to his 
headquarters. I was given a parole of the city for two days, 
and it was given out that Sharkey should not know but that 
I was a secret service man, and in order to give him; all sorts 
of annoyance I would go> into' his office and room and sit down 
there and listen and watch things, and the cowardly cur knew 
better than to< speak to me. * * * 

He had a man before him one day on trial, when a news- 
boy came rushing by the window at which he was sitting, 
screaming out something about "Jeff Davis in Pennsylvania/' 
"Era Extra, Lee and," etc. The room was full and Sharkey 
was as "drunk as a biled owl." He hollered to the boy, 
"What's that about Jeff Davis?" 

The prompt reply came, "Played hell in Pennsylvania !" 

Whereupon the whole crowd commenced laughing and 
giggling and howling, and Sharkey picked up his hat and 
walked out, and so> did everybody else, including the prisoner 
and myself. 

The ladies of New Orleans were then, and are yet, the 
noblest set of grand, brave, self-sacrificing women that could 
ever honor this earth. It was at the battle of Monsura that 
the women of Louisiana proved their valor, where more than 
one hundred were on the battle-field while the battle was go- 
ing on, looking after the wounded and administering to the 
dying. Such was a not infrequent occurrence on other battle- 


fields, for the women of the South were nearly all alike, except- 
ing a large number if not a majority of the women in the State 
of Mississippi, where Wort Adams' and Scott's cavalry dom- 
inated over even the women, whom they made believe that they 
were good Confederate soldiers. 

In company with about fourteen hundred others from the 
prison, we were sent oin two transports to Port Hudson and 
were given a parole, This was a Yankee trick that no brave 
man could have sanctioned or have tolerated. The next day 
we were landed in Port Hudson, that was then being invested. 
General Auger with his division of twelve thousand negroes 
made a land assault from below, while forty-two Federal mor- 
tar-boats and six gunboats bombarded from yet below them 
and attacked the land batteries from in front, and only a few 
hours after we, paroled prisoners of war, were landed in the 

We, paroled boys, could do* nothing, nor could we leave 
the fort, being informed that it was invested on the east and 
north sides as well as below. We had only to stand and take 
it, non-combatants that we were, not allowed to> lift a gun in 
our own defense and expecting at any minute an assault that 
would put to> death every man found behind the breastworks. 
Negroes fought only under the black flag. They expected no 
quarter if captured, therefore gave none. It was universally 
conceded and understood throughout the Confederate army 
that when the negro ever gained advantage in a battle he 
spared no one's life, but massacred everything as they did at 
Fort Donelson and at Melican Bend, and of which I shall tell 

I, in company with two comrades, went to the water bat- 
tery, which we were told was charged to fire on gunboats that 
might attempt to> pass the bluff. We perched ourselves on the 
ramparts at the side of a Tredgar Iron Works cast cannon, 
which was the largest piece that had ever been cast in the Con- 


federacy or the United States at that time. It was charged 
and loaded with a fourteen-inch solid shot, and being depressed 
to an angle of about twenty degrees the gun was filled all but to 
the muzzle with Spanish moss to hold the ball in and keep it 
from rolling out. 

It required twenty-eight men to man the gun. When it 
was fired it jumped back out of its trunnions, and twelve men 
at its breach were killed instantly. I was watching the effect 
of the shot. The ball landed near the opposite side of the river 
and did not come within one-fourth of a mile of hitting the 
gunboat. This was about one o'clock in the morning. We 
heard the musketry, first the random guns firing, next by com- 
panies, next by regiments and next by brigades, and next our 
little artillery land batteries commenced firing. 

The assault was being made by General Auger's nigger 
division, which came on with rushing and yelling demoniac 
impetuosity, and who gained the outer trench before they com- 
menced firing, when our artillery commenced to play on them 
with canister, grape and chain. But few of them got in the 
ditch, which was twenty feet deep, twenty feet wide at the 
top and fifteen feet wide at the boom, solid pancake clay. 
They were heaped up in winnows. It was estimated that four 
thousand eight hundred were killed. No retreat was sounded 
that I heard. I have believed that their officers, after starting 
them in, retired to the safe rear. 

The mortar-boats stopped playing when the assault was 
started. They had been playing for about three hours, land- 
ing ten-inch shells inside of the fort every one and one-half 
minutes during that time. It was a dark night. They were 
below in a cove in a bend of the river. Whoever has witnessed 
a viyid electric storm on a dark night can imagine the flashing 
of those mortars, and then looking up in the air a mile or more 
you could see the fiery tails, the burning fuse of those bombs 
which fell with such force as to make holes in that clay ground 


fifteen or eighteen feet, and when one bursted in the ground or 
in the air before it reached the ground it brought about a con- 
fusion among us paroled prisoners of war that can better be 
imagined than described. 

This was one time, in battle that I did not get badly scared, 
for I made up my mind from the start to take what came, and I 
expected nothing short of death, for I had full knowledge of 
the strength of the negro corps, and I had passed by the bat- 
teries and mortar fleets and I had seen the army go up on the 
opposite side of the river and had heard of their landing on 
the Hudson side twelve miles above Bayou Sara, and I knew 
that the Federal force numbered nearly seventy-five thousand, 
negroes not counted. They were provisioned and armed with 
the latest death-dealing implements. I also knew that Gen- 
eral Gardner, who' was in command at Port Hudson, had only 
three months to fortify and prepare for an attack and to* pro- 
vision the fort, and that he was short of ammunition, had no 
field artillery and his cannon was worse than nothing — dum- 
mies made of big logs would have been better — had no- guns 
or small arms and had but twenty-two< hundred men, rank 
and file, supers, business and all, with less than forty days' 
rations, and they of the very poorest sort — just such as no 
Yankee army would stand by for a dog. 

That I was better advised as to the strength of the enemy 
and of the conditions than General Gardner was no one 
doubted, but I never violated my parole and trusted only in God 
that Gardner had a way out of it and that we, the non-com- 
batants, might be able to follow him. 

The next morning after this first assault on Port Hudson 
the Federal General was communicated with and requested to 
go and bury his dead, to which he replied that "the dead might 
bury the dead" ; and thus it was that the likes of him uses the 
negro as the Chinese use a stink-pot. 

The Federal forces withdrew from above and below and 


there was no further effort made to assault Port Hudson for 
some weeks, and we, the Confederate paroled prisoners, were 
allowed to depart as we might, and but for the two days' ra- 
tions that the Yankees had given us there would have been 
great suffering. 

In those days I was what was termed a runner and there 
were but few in the army who could walk to> keep up with 
me, and when it came to a long-distance run no- quarter horse 
could out-travel me. I had a much better idea of the geog- 
raphy of the country than my compeers and comrades. I 
made a rapid trip to and was the first one that crossed the Mis- 
sissippi westward, when I was retaken by a force of Federals, 
who' denied my parole and took it away from me and sent me 
back down to New Orleans, where but for the influence I had 
at headquarters I might have been shot for a spy. The of- 
ficer who arrested me was sent for, and the first question asked 
was whether I had any arms or not, and he replied 4i No." 

He had destroyed my parole, but he was required to tell 
of and about it and identify a blank which was produced. I 
believe that I could have shortened his days on this earth had 
I had a chance, for I was calculating upon being with the girl 
I had left behind me and the first one that I had up to- that 
time. This was a disappointment no one not similarly con- 
ditioned can appreciate. Love and war are not compatible. 

This was my greatest disappointment and I was given the 
privilege of either taking the oath of allegiance or being sent 
to Fort Dry Tortugas. I elected the latter and was sent to- this 
prison post and my solitary den was a rampart, or rather a 
casement, where I was placed alone to look through the port- 
hole on the bay and meditate on the past and plan on the fu- 
ture, if I had a future. 

How to tell a good army story without putting in the nec- 
essary blanks to be filled up is more than I have ever been able 


to do>, and I prefer to tell it so that it may be understood, re- 
gardless o>f what some Miss Nancy may say. 

I was given any amount of religious tracts to* read and 
temperance sheets and songs and such like, which to a soldier 
of my condition of mind and temperament was all else but in- 
teresting and amusing. 

I was sitting in the port-hole one morning when I heard a 
voice I recognized, an old scout and an all-around desperado-, 
who years afterward died with his boots on. This was the 
song he was singing : 

"I don't care a — for nobody, 

If nobody don't care a — for me; 
The day may come when I'll be out, 

And on a scout; 
And I'll bet my dollars one by one, 

I'll make some Yankee run." 

I knew that if I undertook to reply he would know my voice 
and get me in trouble, so I was mum. He was in the second 
or third casemate from me. A man in the next one asked: 
"Who are you?" 

He replied that he was not telling who he was, and asked: 
"Who are you?" 

"No more than you," came the reply. 

I afterward learned that this was Senator Gwinne from 

On the third day of July, which was my birthday, a ship, 
the steamer Catawba, bound for New York, landed at the fort. 
It had on board six hundred prisoners of war taken from New 
Orleans, and on which I was placed and taken through to 
Fortress Monroe, Virginia, and from there sent to> City Point 
and delivered under parole. We met as we were going up the 
James River, Alexander Stephens, going to Washington with 
two other Confederates of the Administration type, to treat 
for peace. Stephens and his sort could not be trusted by Davis 
and his "rule-or-ruin" crew, who* did both. 


This was the seventh of July. We were told by the Fed- 
erals who were guarding us that Lee had captured forty thou- 
sand of Meade's soldiers at Gettysburg and that President 
Lincoln had sued President Davis for peace, and that was 
Stephens' mission. Do not ask did we feel good at this news, 
for words cannot tell, how overjoyed we were. 

When we got to Petersburg the other news reached us from 
the Confederate side and told that Lee had lost the flower of 
his army and was retreating with but a small portion of it; 
that Vicksburg had fallen on the Fourth of July and that the 
Confederacy had collapsed. 

We were taken to Camp Lee in Richmond, where we ar- 
rived about midnight, about twelve hundred in all, with noth- 
ing to eat and no water to' drink and no one to give us any in- 
formation. It was the next morning early that quite a num- 
ber of us went down into* the city, where and when we saw and 
heard that of which I have given an account in a previous 

That the Confederacy was "busted" no one seemed to ques- 
tion, but all seemed anxious to know where we were going to 
get something to eat. The stores and all houses were closed 
and nothing but confusion and excitement and human wildness 
prevailed on every side. My thirst was as great nearly as it was 
when I reached the Dead Man's Water Holes on our retreat 
from New Mexico. 

We were advised that the Commissary Department was 
open to us. I drew my rations without any questions, and it 
consisted of twelve (all that I could carry) big sea biscuits. 
They were about six inches in diameter and two inches thick, 
made without salt or soda, kneaded and baked perfectly dry and 
hard, each weighing about one-half pound or more. I lived on 
these and nothing else for two days and made up for two days 
for which I had had nothing to live on, and methought and 
thought of how my ancestors had suffered at Valley Forge. 


After what might be called the reorganization of the Con- 
federate army at Richmond, as related elsewhere, from having 
some friends and distant relatives in Richmond, to whom I 
made myself known and who> were high in authority, I pro- 
cured transportation to the Mississippi River, and while in the 
Quartermaster's Department at the capital getting this trans- 
portation I met a man whom I had known in Texas, Governor 
Frank Lubbock, whoi was the confidential and private secre- 
tary of President Jefferson Davis. Lubbock had made a good 
Governor in Texas and he was universally liked, for he was 
really and truly a good man and never did an act which dis- 
graced his State. 

He had a long talk with me and took me to his office. I 
told him of the campaign of New Mexico; and he was greatly 
interested in what I told him. I told him of our campaign in 
Louisiana, of which he was greatly concerned. He made me 
acquainted with the Secretary of War, Sedden, and by him I 
was introduced to President Davis. I was offered a commis- 
sion, the most responsible and trying that was to be given to 
any one. I told them I was under parole. I told them under 
what circumstances I had refused to take the oath of allegiance, 
that I could no more violate the one than the other, but that if 
they could arrange a cartel of exchange by which I could be 
liberated from this parole I would accept, but with the distinct 
understanding that I was to be given no commission as such. 

I left the next day with the distinct understanding that a 
special commissioner or dispatch should be sent to me in Texas 
acquainting me of my exchange and ordering me to duty. 
This dispatch reached me many days too soon, for I was just in 
my glory and was fixing myself to take on new obligations and 
to change the name of one woman over to my own. The 
deal was deferred until a more auspicious condition offered. 
It came and the deal was consummated. 

We agreed to not make the change, for I told her that the 


war was not going to last much longer and that I saw ahead 
of me the chance of my life, which went under when the block- 
ade runner Lucy Gwinne, to which I have referred before, was 
captured in Galveston by the Federal gunboats. 

I went to McGruder's headquarters, where I made myself 
known, and I was sent up to Shreveport, Louisiana, to the 
commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department, General E. 
Kirby Smith, than whom our great Creator may have made 
others as good, but none ever better as a soldier and a gentle- 
man, and I believe as perfect a Christian as ever commanded 

I was sent from there to General Buckner, commanding the 
District of Louisiana, then at Alexandria, and was given or- 
ders to cross the Mississippi with dispatches to Richmond. 

Travel in those days from Alexandria, Louisiana, would 
baffle description, for it was go* and get there, horseback if 
you could, but go, footing it or swimming it, and lose no time. 
I had no guide and only had a general idea as to where I would 
strike the Mississippi and how I would cross it, and then how 
to get from there to- Woodville, Mississippi, which was then 
the terminus of our railroad and the end of our telegraph 
lines, which had nine relays between there and Richmond. 

I got my dispatches through by working with the operator 
all night and the next evening received reply to wait where 
I was twenty-four hours and not to come on farther east, but 
to prepare to go back to- Alexandria. 

Scott's cavalry were thick in that country and I did not 
feel myself safe, so I took to- the woods, where I remained until 
the messages were received. A good Confederate, for two hun- 
dred and fifty dollars of Confederate money, one dollar in 
silver and a two-dollar greenback bill, brought me a good 
horse, bridle and saddle. I always believed that he was one 
of Scott's cavalry and that he had stolen the outfit, but I was 
not asking questions in those days when the question of trans- 


portation came up, especially one in which I was so deeply in- 
terested as in this one. 

That horse and I saw considerable service together, but 
I lost him through the influence of the aforesaid Scott's cav- 
alry or some other thief, and, though, I had money to buy, none 
was for sale, and I had to foot it and swim it and run it, but 
always managed to get there on time. 

While I had much to do with the secret service of the Con- 
federacy, I knew much more about it and about what was goh 
ing on than I ever thought it safe to tell any one. I never al- 
lowed myself to be inveigled into acting the part of a spy, for 
I had learned to mistrust, doubt and suspect everybody. 

I never would take a dispatch out of Richmond or receive 
it from the Secretary of War until I had studied it and could 
transcribe it verbatim, giving him to understand that his dis- 
patch, which was always written on onion sheet paper, would 
be either burned or eaten up by me whenever I felt that I was 
getting into close quarters. 


When one loses all faith and hope in a cause that he has 
been engaged in and it comes from his observing speculations, 
peculations, fraud, deception, betrayal of trusts and con- 
fidences, as well as from incompetency and drunken neglect, 
if that one is made of the material or clay that good people are 
created out of, he certainly becomes not only cold and indif- 
ferent, but all but vicious, and this was about truly my con- 
dition about this time, if not before. 

The ignorant people of the South, at home as well as in 
the army — people who read nothing, who heard no< one talk 
except it be one as ignorant as themselves, who had no> knowl- 
edge of affairs, of the condition and situation of the Confed- 
erate cause — were the ones that the Administration depended 
upon vastly more than upon the ones who' could not be lied to 
or deceived. I well knew that along toward the last there was 
an effort made to do away with me. Not that I had betrayed 
any trusts or confidences, but that I knew too much for the 
tottering dynasty, and, though I had not been making 
any show of my knowledge, I was called to account 
on more than one occasion by whippers-in of those who began 
to* think that I might have my price, as they had, and sell out 
to good advantage to- the secret service men oif the United 
States, with whom they themselves had had me have confer- 
ences, and of a nature that, had a tenth part of the loyal fight- 
ing soldiers known, the army would have disbanded. The 
double traitors tried to weave a weh of their woof around me, 
as I know they had around two* other scouts, but I knew the 
villains and was on my guard. 

The women of the South were uncompromising in their 



loyalty fo the Confederacy. They were never allowed to know 
the true condition of affairs. They were told and believed 
that there were ten Federals in the field to our one; that we 
never went intoi an engagement that there were not from two 
to twenty times more men on their side. They listened to the 
lying accounts given of skirmishes that were never known of 
on any battle map, which were multiplied into' battles in which 
hundreds were killed, according to the liars' lies, and in re- 
payment for these lies, told them- more often by perambulating 
soldiers of the Wort Adams and Scott's Mississippi Cavalry 
sort than by their own brothers, they would give forth their 
charity, in the way of clothing and money, if they had it, as 
well as good victuals. 

I remember one instance which I will relate: Weary and 
tired from long riding, coming from a point on the Mississippi 
River going to 1 a point on the Rio Grande, to' do 1 that which 
it seemed that no other one could either be induced to do or had 
sense enough to do, I was traveling incog. I called at night- 
fall at a plantation house for accommodations. There were 
six ladies on the porch and three men. They were busy talk- 
ing when I came up. I gave the negro a piece of flat tobacco 1 
to attend to> my horse well before I left him at the gate, and it 
was done. I sat down on the porch, for I looked like a tough, 
character and one incompetent and unable to entertain such 
a beautiful array of ladies. 

I sat down on the poirch — was not invited to a seat. I 
recognized the voices of the three men. I had met them in 
prison and knew them well. They were paroled at the same 
time I was and were still under parole. One of the men had 
formerly been an editor of a Texas paper, printed in Bren- 
ham, Texas. He was a cunning, slick liar. One day in 
prison I was arguing a question with the Federal officer and 
this sycophant came up and listened. The question we were 
talking about was as to the representation in Congress the 


lower house had for the slaves, the Federal contending that 
every so many thousand gave us a Congressman. There were 
no unpleasant words used in the conversation because I was 
talking with a gentleman, whoi a few days afterward acknowl- 
edged that I was right. 

This fellow, Ross (so he called himself, but I shall always 
believe that he stole the name, which was a noble one in Texas, 
to make people believe he was something), came to me advis- 
ing me to "quit discussing this question with the Yankees," 
for, said he, "don't you know that the best way is to be goody- 
goody God and also* say goody-goody devil when you are in the 
way of your enemy, be with him. That's the way I do*. 
Make them pay you more for what they want than they will for 
what you may have, and when you cannot sing a song to suit 
them tell them a story to suit," and a whole lot more of this 
sort of two-faced, lying hypocrisy. 

This man was the leader of the three in the talk with the 
ladies, and he was a good one. He was telling them how the 
Yankees fed us in prison and how they treated us. And the 
lies he told were quite enough to make any poor ignorant but 
good-hearted woman cry. They swallowed in his lies with a 
crazy avidity. He told them how it delighted the Yankees 
to go around at roll call and make us all stand up under our 
numbers against the wall and then make us face the wall and 
jab us with bayonets, and then how they would make us stand 
there for hours at a time until men fell down from actual 
prostration, and how they kept us from getting drinking water, 
which was as free as the air. He told how we were chained 
two and two together and marched between a file of soldiers 
when they wanted to move us from one quarter to another, 
and then told how the fine viands and provisions that had been 
sent in by the ladies of New Orleans for the benefit of our sick 
were eaten by the Yankee officers. It would take a page to tell 
half of the lies he told these good, noble women. 


Giving my name, he told how I had been taken out two or 
three times and put in the Parish Prison and had been 
"thumbed up" (tied up by the thumbs), but upon proving that 
I was a relation of General Nathaniel P. Banks (a bigger lie 
was never told) I was given every possible consideration and 
attention, and by reason of this the ladies of New Orleans 
sent me all of these fine things for our sick, which the Yan- 
kees, right before our face and eyes, spread out and ate up. 
And there I sat on the porch, more like a poor, hungry, sore- 
footed tramp, hearing all this talk from an infamous, lying 
villain, who afterward at the close of the war turned "scalla- 
wag" and joined the Loyal League and was one of the part- 
ners of Major Smith when the town of Brenham was burned. 

I held my mouth. After they had all taken their seats at 
the table one of the women condescended to come out and ask 
me if I would come in and have some supper. Fearing that 
I would be recognized I thanked her very much, and would 
she be so kind as to send me something out on a platter, which 
she did in abundance, and my appetite and thirst were both well 
satisfied, while I yet retained a position where I could hear all 
that was going on at the table. 

I had my saddle-bags, saddle and blankets brought on the 
porch and I lay down to> goi toi sleep, while they occupied the 
other end, listening to the lies about the cruelty oif the Yan- 
kees. The three men were put in the room right opposite me 
on the porch and I heard Ross say to Lewis, "Didn't I do them 
up brown?" and ask if they hadn't better stay there a. whole 

This house belonged to, and two of the women belonged 
to the family of Professor J. B. Law, who> was the originator 
and founder of the female seminary at Plantersville, Texas, 
whom to know was to> honor and respect. 

I traveled on the next morning and the next night or the 
night after I stopped with a old friend and distant relative, a 


man of affairs and a Christian, whom everybody loved and 
whom everybody to- this day who was living then remembers. 
I refer to Dr. Stone in Brenham. I told him of the incident 
which occurred at Professor Law's place and that I wished that 
he might bring it around in some way as to let Ross know that 
it was I who was sitting on the porch steps. Whether Dr. 
Stone did or not I do not know, but Ross found out all the 
same. For this and several other similar lying offenses, as 
well as joining the "Nigger Loyal League," he passed away 
forever and forever from all good people's memory. 

This man, Major Smith, to whom I have referred, the 
"negro bureau agent" that burned Brenham, Texas, was sent 
to Gonzales and Seguin. Down on Peach Creek in Gonzales 
County some parties in perfect self-defense killed a negro*. 
Smith fined them fifteen hundred dollars, which they paid. 
Other people who had -been thrashing negroes were fined from 
five to one hundred dollars, all of which Smith fobbed. 

He came up to Seguin and did the same way. A friend of 
mine, who had gone through with me in New Mexico*, by the 
name of McLean, had a sawmill down on the San Marcus 
River not far from Gonzales. He gave a negro man, who* 
had insulted his family a fairly good thrashing — ought to have 
killed him. The negro went to Gonzales and saw Smith, who 
promptly sent a file of soldiers after McLean. He was 
brought in and fined five hundred dollars and told that he 
would be kept in the guardhouse and not allowed to talk to 
any one except to send out word to his friends until his fine 
was paid. I was one of the first to whom he applied, though 
he was owing me at that time. I wrote a letter down to the 
banker in that place, a man by the name of Dillsworth, who 
I knew as an ultra out-and-out secessionist and Southern man 
to the core, one that to doubt, mistrust, or think could be a 
traitor would be to> sin. 

In this letter, besides asking that he raise the money for 


me 011 certain security offered, I let loose and told him about 
what this Brenham house-burning-military-sap^trap-Smith 
(which were the very words I used) had been doing up in 
Seguin, just as he had been doing down there — fining people 
for killing and whipping negroes and putting all the money 
in his own pocket. This villain Dillsworth had a few nights 
before joined the Nigger Loyal League, and he turned my letter 
over to this same house-burning, robbing, thieving villain, 
who came back to Seguin the next day and I was sent for and 
my letter was produced and shown to me, and I was put un- 
der guard and given to understand that I was going to> be sent 
to General Kidoo, then the commander at Houston, Texas. 

I was plainly told that if I wished to give up one thousand 
dollars rather than to go I could do' so, and that if ever I was 
known to open my mouth again in this way death should be my 
portion, and as a further evidence of good faith on my part 
I was to parole myself to him not to go farther than six miles 
from Seguin without his written authority. I had business 
which called me to all parts of the State. I did not go to Ki- 
doo, for I well felt that he was a full partner with whom 
divvies were being made. 

Now for any honest man to look over this field with me 
would be to agree that the people of the South are the most 
imposed upon and long-suffering people on earth or they would 
not have allowed such men as Dillsworth — and there were 
thousands of this sort all through the country — to live a day in 
the State after it was restored into the Union. 

These very men are at the head of politics in the South 
today. They own its wealth where they do' not control its pol- 
itics. I made an estimate of the amount of money that these 
"negro bureau Loyal League" agents took out of four counties 
from fines imposed and it amounted to nearly three hundred 
thousand dollars. 

These were the days of the Reconstruction, when the negro 



had been enfranchised and -such thieves as Smith sent out by 
the United States Government to organize them. Oh, it won't 
do to say that the Right Rev. O. O. Howard (he of the Negro 
Bureau fame) knew anything about this (and I do not really 
think he did) — into Loyal Leagues, charging them five dol- 
lars each for the same and making them pledge themselves to 
stand by the bureau agents and to report to them all acts of 
disloyalty on the part of their late masters, and to come with 
all complaints as to bad treatment or mistreatment or whip- 

When the negro saw his old master or his employer fined 
from five to five hundred dollars, he naturally thought that he 
was going to get some of it, but the bureau agent always told 
him that that went into' the Government fund to be divided out 
among the negroes when they drew their forty acres and a 
mule. All of which the negro believed to such an extent that 
many of them would have actually died for the belief. 

I was running quite an extensive cotton plantation at this 
time. Going home one morning about ten o'clock, from quite 
a distance off on a hill, I saw that all of the plows were stand- 
ing in the fields when they should have been running. The 
grass and weeds were getting away with the cotton very fast, 
and not a hand was at work. 

Every negro had unhitched the mules and, averaging- two 
on the back of each, went to the town, six miles off, to re- 
ceive new degrees in the "Loyalty League," as they called it, 
and to be informed as to when, where and how they were go- 
ing to draw their "forty acres and their mule/' My mules 
were kept tied up to the fences and the trees in the town forty- 
eight hours without anything to> eat or drink, while these lying, 
peculating, accursed "carpet-baggers" and "scallawags" were 
lying to, deceiving and misleading the poor ignorant negro. 

Here again I would suggest to every one of my readers to' 
buy a copy of "The Leopard's Spots" and read it. 


The South, then more than now, was overrun with office- 
seekers, a class of men who were too* lazy to* make an honest 
living, and who, in fact, could not make an honest living for 
themselves. By demagogism and talking to* the people they 
could get an office and then get it split so that they could make 
a branch for their son and then get the Legislature to increase 
taxation by urging them to draw high pay (back wages, if you 
please) until today the South is paying anywhere from ten to 
one hundred per cent more than they did fifty years ago. 

The men who were elected to the Legislature in the South 
in the days of the reconstruction were the ones who got the 
piles of boodle, just as has many a Congressman made his stake 
in Washington. 

Were the truth to> be known as to> why the Panama Canal 
scheme had not gone through twenty years ago, it would re- 
sult in so many good Democratic Congressmen having to show 
up that a revelation might be made to some people. The wise 
man, however, wooild say, "What odds makes that? That 
same man can go and talk to them and they will all vote for 
him for office next time, and possibly half of all the voters 
would say, 'He only did what I would have done had I been 
there/ " 

This state of affairs does not prevail anywhere in the most 
prosperous States of the Union. The people would not sub- 
mit to it. For a while this class gained power in our larger 
cities, but they were soon sent to 1 the penitentiary and nothing 
more heard of them. 

The man who does not do> his own thinking on all matters 
and subjects and questions, and especially on those respect- 
ing his Government, but allows another to think for him and 
dictate to him, or at least tell him how to vote and act and who 
to vote for, is, in my opinion, not a fit subject to be allowed to 
live in our country and should be exiled to Russia. 

Who that undertakes to tell me that it is the grog shop 


that runs our politics makes a poor show for himself and his 
neighbors. In days gone by, but in this respect I hope not be- 
yond recall, the men who sought an office was looked upon as 
little better than a pauper and was the very man who would 
never get it. The day is again coming when the office is going 
to seek the man, and when that day comes in the South then 
affairs political, financial, social and religious down there are 
going to so change that the old "scallawag" and office-seeking, 
public-crib-eating, cunning ones will be relegated to the past, 
and the sound of joy will be heard in all the land. 

As an illustration of the average intelligence of the average 
half negro and half white district in the South I will relate an 

Some years back, when the question of the free coinage of 
silver was all the go, I was traveling in the South, noi matter 
where — not that I am afraid to tell it, but because the same 
Jack would again jump out of the pot, I don't. I was impor- 
tuned to< make a speech, and I may acknowledge that I was 
more of a silver man than I was a gold bug, but wishing to 
size up my audience before starting out, I requested that the 
bandmaster or the toastmaster, the presiding genius of the 
meeting, should, first and before I spoke, explain to the people 
what sixteen to one meant. I knew my old blatherskite, the 
orator of the day, who was always either holding some little 
office or running for some large one, would make the explana- 
tion the people wanted, at least as he understood they wanted 
it. So up he jumped and in substance said : 

"More for the information of the gentleman who is our 
visitor here to-night than any of you, I will explain that sixteen 
to one means that every time the United States Government 
mint coins one dollar in gold that it shall coin sixteen dollars in 
silver." And down he sat. 

And in rising what had I to say? My only reply was that 
"I had come here to-night remembering the Scriptural injunc- 


tion that I should not think of what I would say when I was 
brought before the King, but that words would be put into 
my mouth, and remembering this injunction, my fellow citi- 
zens, I have relied upon your President and Chairman to do so, 
and he has done it so effectually that I can say no> more." 
And I sat down and said no> more and that too amidst a shout- 
ing, hurrahing crowd. I might as well have undertaken to talk 
an Arabian of the desert away from the Mohammedian faith 
as to enlighten the people before me, and had I started in I 
would have been hissed down and called all sorts of bad names. 

The people who were before me had been told of the mil- 
lions and millions of dollars in gold pieces produced by the 
mines of the United States, and if I remember right they had 
been told that it was something like eight hundred million 
dollars a year. Now to multiply this eight hundred million 
by sixteen, then the people would have one hundred and twen- 
ty-eight billion, besides the eight hundred million, which would 
make one hundred and thirty-six billion each and every year 
to distribute among the people of the United States, and this 
was what killed the poor greenbackers and their craze, and 
why we have never heard anything of it since. 

Methought while I was facing this crowd of a fence I had 
once built out of very crooked persimmon poles and was 
brought to task by a man who> wanted to know how it was that 
I had not built a fence out of straight rails. I asked him how 
old he thought those poles were. He said they were a tree 
of very slow growth and possibly they were three hundred 
years old. I then asked that if it took God Almighty three 
hundred years to' make them as crooked as they were, how 
many years did he suppose it would take me to- make straight 
rails out of them. 

Now the proposition clearly before me in facing this audi- 
ence, which was the audience of the South at that time, and 
it is no better at this time, was : A community of people of 


such profound, dense, besotted and accursed ignorance, and 
that too in a free and enlightened country like this, what 
could I or any one else do in the way of enlightening them? 
Might as well undertake to turn the current of the mighty 
Mississippi with a sail cloth. 

These people had been educated by their political leaders, 
who absolutely and practically made them believe anything 
and kept them in this profound and dense ignorance in order 
that they might handle them the better. Take the great public 
educator, the newspapers, and especially the local ones in the 
South. Ninety per cent of the reading is patent plate matter 
that is printed in twenty or fifty thousand other papers just as 
in it, and the other ten per cent made up of the most sillysally 
dribble and patent medicine or whisky shop notices, while 
the paper itself is filled up with all sorts of advertisements. 
Fit food for the fools who* patronize it ! Of course these papers 
are not read by the men of affairs in the South, and very little 
attention or consideration is paid them; by the local political 
"graft," and, thank God not all the people can or do read 

No wonder that the South is always solid Democratic. 
No more to be wondered at than that the ignorant, blood- 
thirsty, cruel Bazooks of the Arabian desert are Mohamme- 
dans, who insist that the more cruelly they treat a "Christian 
dog," as all Christians are termed there, the more sure they 
are of eternal rest in the land beyond. No Ephraim was more 
joined to his idols than are the people of the South joined to 
theirs and to the hand that smote them. And it is the same 
hand which still smites them. 

Many people of fairly good information have expressed 
their surprise to' me that the South, and especially Georgia and 
Texas, had gone so overwhelmingly in favor of local option. 
They supposed that this meant no zvhisky sold in the country, 
and they are right, but you see it is this way: Some big 


wholesale whisky dealers and distillers in Atlanta, Macon, 
Augusta, and Savannah, and in Houston, Galveston, San An- 
tonio, Austin, Dallas and Marshall, could well afford to hire 
all the big popgun preachers, temperance spouters, sky pilots 
and influential politicians and noted windbags and other men 
of influence to* go* and camp in a body in a country and whoop, 
it up to the dear people and the good women, and all being 
done in the name of Democracy, local option and prohibition, 
would carry like a flash, for no Democrat would dare vote 
against it. 

Possibly there had been five, or for the matter of that fifty, 
saloons before; that had paid a State license of fifty dollars, 
a county license of fifty dollars and possibly a corporation 
license of one hundred dollars, which went to support the 
Government and would to that limit relieve the burden of the 
poor downtrodden tax-payer, the owner of small homes and 
farms. Now what was the result? Mr. Wholesale Liquor 
Man sold whisky which cost him seventy-five cents a gallon 
for two> dollars and fifty cents, adding twenty-five cents for 
the jug and twenty-five cents to- the local express or railroad 
agent for transportation to and empty jug back, and pay some 
one else twenty-five cents extra — just as likely a magistrate 
or constable — for his trouble in handling the order, and the 
result was that in these States to-day I give it as my honest 
belief from questioning and from close observation, there are 
from two to five times more and three times worse poisoned 
whisky being drunk by the people than ever before. A whisky 
trust is thus formed in states that declare the loudest against 
trusts and monopolies. 

The smart ones laugh at the fools and how cunningly they - 
fooled the people and the poor ignorant people who* never did 
drink any whisky, for they never had any money to' buy it, 
and who didn't know anything that was going on, and didn't 
care much anyhow, and made them think that they have done 
a wonderful thing in making their country goi temperance. 


Some years ago I was largely interested in a mail order 
medicine vending enterprise which sold anything from plasters 
for the heel and for the head to pills that make the hair grow. 
Our folks did a lot of advertising. I noticed that there were 
certain sections of the United States where there was from one 
to one hundred times more Jamaica ginger used than was 
used in other sections. The reason was easy to be found. 
They were all prohibition counties, and it was in these that 
we sold the greatest amount o'f chlorides and other similar 
make-drunk-sloiw-but-easy and brain-cursing health-destroyers 
and slow death-dealing decoctions. 

Rather than to be a party to the nefarious deal I quit the 
business, I am a believer in fates and I believe that there 
is a fate, fairly worse than any orthodox hell, which, awaits 
any man or woman — believe it, dear reader, a,s much or as 
little as you may, but you may live to* believe it more than I, 
if possible — who would for selfish gain do that which would 
bring injury to another. If there is no' fate which deals this 
way, then I have lived a life of close observation to be wrongly 

I can look back from the mount on which I now stand, 
over and across the plains which I have journeyed, and I can 
point out the unmourned and unmarked graves of tens and 
tens of thousands of men who observed not the laws of God 
or nature, but who by selfish gain prostituted manhood and 
sold their souls for less than a mess of pottage. It is the ac- 
cursed soul destroyer, the polluter of our public morals and 
integrity, either in the forum, the pulpit or the teacher's chair, 
whoi will teach that all men who have acquired wealth have 
done it through dishonest methods, through treachery or be- 
trayal of trusts, rascality, deceit or fraud. 

This class of people whoi thus acquire wealth are the ex- 
ception to the rule, and only goes to make the rule good. But 
where one can be shown to have lived to old age, enjoying his 


accumulated wealth and leaving it behind him to a quiet family 
division, tens of thousands can be shown who in dying curse 
the world and all mankind, and whose curses stain the very 
ground over which they had walked. And who dares to* say 
nay to this proposition? 

The wealth of the South to-day is in its institutions, largely 
owned by Jews and foreign corporations. It has been said that 
scientists and statesmen and great men for ages have contem- 
plated how civilization might be advanced without making 
the rich richer and the poor poorer. And we see this question 
more practically answered in the Southern States where 
Democracy rules supreme, than in any other part of our en- 
lightened and free Government, excepting in the dives and 
dens and lowest, ignorant, depraved, vulgar and vicious parts 
of our great cities where the same ilk of politicians do 1 their 
fine work. 

The man who brings intoi his family a vile political paper, 
a paper full of insulting, ridiculous pictures, Police Gazette 
sort, a paper which is full of accounts of scandals and rascali- 
ties, is a man who* may well expect, if he lives to an old age, to 
see its baleful influence upon those whom he has been instru- 
mental in raising and educating. 

I have often said, and I now know it to be true, that if any 
man will talk with me on any given subject for a short while, 
I can tell what paper he reads, and it has always occurred to 
me as being singular that any man will allow any other man 
to make for him his decisions and opinions on any subject. I 
have no more oif a respectable opinion of such men in these 
United States than I have for the low-down, depraved, igno- 
rant, vicious Mexican bull, cock and dog fighter. 

These people were so* raised, so educated and trained, and 
so> kept by their rulers. They are not allowed to know any 
better, and they all belong to the same church, just as the poor, 
deluded people of the South all belong to the same political 


When one looks back at an event which occurred so nearly 
half a century ago>, as did the things about which I am writing, 
and when writing from memory, as I do, at times many 
notable occurrences become shady, foggy, and to be viewed 
with doubt as to the actual dates. 

After the battle of and the retaking of Galveston Island 
and city, January first, 1864, we were marched back through 
Texas, north, where on April fourteenth we met Banks' army 
of invasion near Shrevesport. He came up Red River on all 
sorts of crafts, sixty-five or seventy thousand strong. He 
was weak in cavalry and not strong in field artillery. The first 
battle had was at Mansfield, Louisiana, where we met his 
advance division and after a first-class skirmish, our loss being 
four hundred killed and nearly six hundred wounded, the 
Federals retreated to Pleasant Hill, where on the evening of 
the fifteenth of April we, forty thousand strong, being rein- 
forced by Churchill's Missouri Division, and Banks being 
reinforced by the celebrated General A. J. Smith's fighting 
corps from the Army of Tennessee, met in very earnest in 
battle array. 

The battle commenced about three o'clock p. m. I was 
with the dismounted Texas Cavalry on our right, Our in- 
fantry had engaged the enemy on the main road, where the next 
morning I rode over the dead bodies of two hundred and 
twelve of the three hundred and twenty New York Zouaves. 
They were dressed in red and were a shining mark for our 
riflemen. Few of them got within twenty paces of our rail 
fence breastworks. 

A. J. Smith's corps was sent to the left and faced the dis- 



mounted Texas Cavalry, who were in a ravine behind a high 
eight-rail staked and ridered fence. Churchill's Division of 
Missouri Infantry, all stalwart men in size, were marched 
through our ranks going to the front, we, for the first time, 
playing the part of a support. They had come in from the In- 
dian Territory and stopped long enough in Shrevesport to 
empty our quartermasters' supplies and had taken all of the 
good clothing that was intended for our division of cavalry, 
and which we needed very badly; for we never received a 
stitch of clothing from that great, good and generous Con- 
federate Government that you may have heard someone talk 
about. These Missourians positively refused to go to the 
front unless our clothes were issued to them in Shrevesport, 
both of which and whom arrived there the same day. 

As these Missourians went through our ranks they were 
feeling good. We were feeling tired and hungry and were all 
but naked, and possibly someone had said something to them 
as they came up to the effect that they had stolen our clothes. 
Anyway they were loud-mouthed and were making all sorts of 
fun of us lying down in a ravine which they had to crawl down, 
crawl up and then crawl over to* the higher fence along on its 
bank. They were all armed with the best of new Enfield 
rifles just received from England via Mexico. These they 
would shake in the air and tell us in their own peculiar brag- 
gadocio way, "We'll show you Texans how to fight. We'll 

show you how to doi up the Yankees," and a thousand and 

one similar expressions, while we looked on and listened, 
knowing well that something was going to be doing very soon. 

They got over the fence and partly formed in line. There 
was no enemy in sight. The order was given to "Forward 
march," and they started across the old field possibly six hun- 
dred yards up a gradual ascent. When they got about half 
way up General A. J. Smith's twelve regimental flags were 
raised and six bands commenced playing and some eight 


thousand men . marched up, twelve pieces of artillery being 
pushed in front of them. It all came within half a minute's 

Their bayonets and burnished armors looked like a million 
mirrors reflecting from the hot and brightening sun, and bands 
that sounded as never bands had ever before sounded to us 
made one of the grandest battle scenes I had ever seen, and 
I believe that no man ever saw a more striking one. The dis- 
play of men, their arms, their bright-shining cannon, the flags, 
the sound of that Yankee-doodle tune, made my heart feel 
very queer. 

Our Missouri men got about half way up, and I can hear 
the sound ringing in my ears at this time, if it were possible, 
repeating down the Federal lines, "Forward, march!" And 
then came the word, "Fire!" The sound of that musketry 
shook the earth, and it had scarcely died away when that same 
voice, repeated over and by one hundred subalterns, com- 
manded, "Fall back!" And the artillery bugles sounded and 
in an instant the fourteen pieces, ten twelve-pound guns and 
four twenty-four pound howitzers, fired. The trees around us 
quaked, the earth shook, the sunshine was dimmed by battle 
smoke, and death seemed to be our doom. 

The pieces of both infantry and artillery were elevated so 
high as to go over the heads of the Missourians and landed in 
our rear about one mile, where the shot fell in among our 
horses. There were no orders given to the Missourians to 
retire, nor had they been told to leave their guns on the battle- 
field. It was with only one spring that any Missourian suc- 
ceeded in getting over that fence. It was while they were doing 
this that the Federals made a better aim and killed, as I remen> 
ber, about eighty and wounded about two hundred. The 
Missourians went on over us and then it was our time. 

We told them that they were not only thieves, but cowards, 
and were running without firing their guns. We had reference 


to the clothing they had taken from us in Shrevesport, and not 
to the greater theft they were about to do. They ran on in 
the direction they had started from and came tx> our horses tied 
in the woods, which they took — stole — from our guards, and 
made fast time. 

The Federals, not knowing that we were in the ravine, 
drew back over the hill and we were ordered back to where our 
horses had been tied. We followed the Missourians that night 
fourteen or fifteen miles through the woods toward Mansfield, 
where they had dismounted from off our horses and sought 
to sleep and dream away their troubles. Possibly as many as 
two hundred Missourians kept on going and were never heard 
from again. The others were of no further use to the Govern- 
ment, for they had no guns. 

The next morning I was found out and, quite contrary to 
my own feelings and inclinations, was ordered to go to the 
front with a flag of truce and overhaul the retreating Federals, 
which I did sixteen miles off at what was known as the 
"Double Bridges," near Grandicore. My message was deliv- 
ered to the commanding General, requesting ambulances, sur- 
geons and supplies, which were promptly sent. We had no 
supplies ourselves and our surgeons were thus without power 
of operating and rendering service to> the wounded. The Fed- 
erals brought back with them loads of everything needed in 
this line. 

We had captured, three days before at the battle of Mans- 
field, eighty or more well-loaded wagons of provisions, which 
was a godsend to> us. I remember that I was a little late at 
the division, and when I got to the wagons all of the light and 
good canned goods were gone. I fell back on a twenty-five- 
pound keg of pickled pigs' feet and went partners with one of 
my chums, who had got a twenty-five-pound box of crackers. 
I always did like pickled pigs' feet and these were especially 


It was given out that I had captured a bale of greenbacks 
from the quartermaster's or paymaster's wagon, and to this 
day many believe that I did. It was only a ten-pound bale of 
Killikinick smoking tobacco 1 . Years since this I was told by 
a man who I knew was in the battle that he got away with the 
tin safe of greenbacks, and he said it contained seventy-five 
thousand dollars, but as he bore no evidence of wealth about 
him or around him I passed it up as a lie, though I well know 
he was much above an ordinary thief. 

The battles commenced again in a few days, Banks being 
well supported by his flotilla of transports and gunboats, their 
infantry being always covered and protected in their retreat to 
Alexandria down through the Old River and Red River 

We prepared to give battle, and did, though doing more 
harm than good, before our left was turned and our right wing 
was driven back and our center about-faced and sent to the 
rear, leaving the field in possession of the Federals with twen- 
ty-six pieces of artillery. We drew back to what was known 
as McNutt's Hills, northwest of Alexandria on the old road 
that led from one side of our continent to> the other by way of 
Alexandria, Louisiana, Nacogdoches and San Antonio, Texas, 
down to the City of Mexico. 

The Federals fell back to Alexandria, Red River having so 
fallen that the boats could not shoot the rapids at that place. 
By dismantling all of the cane mills and tearing down many of 
the stone and brick buildings they built a dam in the river which 
confined the channel to a narrow current, over which they shot 
their boats. This was one of the greatest engineering feats 
performed by either army during the entire war. The man 
who engineered this dam construction afterward engineered the 
construction of the Denver & Rio. Grande Railroad through 
Colorado, which up to this date is the greatest of its character 
in the world. 


The Federals were detained at Alexandria about six days. 
They had plenty of provisions, but were kept in compact quar- 
ters and there was but little fighting done. 

It was during this retreat that Torn Green O'f the old 
brigade, who had been made a brigadier general, took the 
Woods' Texas regiment of cavalry toi the edge of an open field 
and, after making a little talk to them about going to show 
them how to fight Yankees, he pointed to> two gunboats on the 
river — this was at Blair's landing on Red River. The gun- 
boats had twelve cannon on each side. The water was on a 
level with the top of the levee, which was about eight feet 
higher than the field. 

A charge on horseback was made across this field upon 
these gunboats lying well out in the river. They opened fire 
with grape and canister and only fired one side. Green was 
killed well in advance, a cannon shot taking the top of his head 
off. Three hundred riderless horses ran off the field. Three 
hundred Texans lay on the field to answer roll call noi more. 
Four hundred escaped — rum, rum, rum, Green Louisiana rum, 
rum, rum. 

In the last year I have been asked to contribute money to 
erect a monument to< the memory of this Tom Green, but no 
one has ever suggested that the three hundred who- were worse 
than murdered that morning on that field, should ever be made 
mention of on shaft or monument. 

From McNutt's Hill on the morning that the Federal flotil- 
la went over the dam at Alexandria I counted nineteen sugar 
plantations burning, each of which when in running order cal- 
culating money on a basis of five per cent interest, would aver- 
age about from four to six hundred thousand dollars each. 
There were sixty-four of these sugar plantations burning along 
Red River and the Tache which I counted myself, besides twice 
as many more that I did not see, not one of which was fired by 
a Yankee, but by natives who' embraced this opportunity of 


revenge on the rich planters and their cruel overseers, who had 
fenced them off from water and had taken their cattle, as did 
the lords in the feudal days of the dark ages. 

Our cavalry — with whom 1 always preferred to stay rather 
than be doing scout work in a country and for folks I had al- 
ready learned enough about to know that no self-respecting 
person could do himself justice, especially when it came to 
giving information (I might have taken orders or obtained in- 
formation from Louisiana rum, rum, rum) — was kept con- 
stantly on the go, that the Federals might not get scattered 
over the country and lost. 

I was with the Texas cavalry at Williams' plantation, 
twenty-two miles below Alexandria as the bird would fly, and 
a much longer distance as the boats would have to* go coming 
around the bends. The river had so> fallen that its surface was 
about forty feet below the top of the levee on its western bank, 
behind which we had taken temporary quarters. We had 
brought the identical gun that had been captured on the Har- 
riett Lane in the battle of Galveston, the "bow chaser," a thir- 
ty-two pound rifled piece. This was planted on the water level 
near a short bend in the river. We had saved sixty-four shots 
from the Harriett Lane for this gun, and this was the first time 
and opportunity that presented for it to make a showing, and 
which it did in grand shape under the command of my old 
chum and the best friend I had in the army and the best man 
there was in the Confederate army, not even excepting myself, 
Lieutenant J. C. Cunningham, whoi was better qualified, able 
and all-around gifted to have commanded the Trans-Missis- 
sippi Department than any of the men who* did command it, 
but who took fiendish delight in turning Cunningham down, 
as most of them did in dealing with me. 

The Federal boats came down the river, one right close 
behind the other, the first four in advance loaded down with 
cripples, convalescents and sick, and the mail. It was a beau- 


tiful sight to see those boats coming round the bend, decked 
with the flags of our nation and well banded with good players 
and blowers and horn-tooters. If ever there was any one 
thing I did hate worse than another it was two> toot-horns 
worse than one. 

We, about twelve hundred strong, lying behind the levee, 
were a surprise to the Federals, who no* doubt thought that 
when they got over the darn at Alexandria they were as good 
as at home. We opened fire, which they were ill prepared to 
receive, yet they did it in a most heroic and brave manner. 
The Red River was but a ditch and the boats were right un- 
der us. We could have brickbatted them to advantage. They 
had scarcely got over their surprise at our appearing on the 
levee above them when Cunningham let loose a blue whistler, 
which struck the spot, plowing lengthwise through the front 
boat, which was heading right toward the muzzle of his can- 
non, bursting the boiler and creating havoc in all directions. 
The boat swung round and of course blocked the stream, and 
the next boat ran against it, and by this time Cunningham; had 
the piece loaded again and it belched forth and another boat 
was busted up', and then came the flag of truce. 

We ran the prisoners out to the rear and captured a good 
lot of needed supplies, for it must be borne in mind that we 
Texans were always hungry. We captured twenty or more 
dray loads oif United States mail, which was sent to the rear. 
Were I to undertake to tell of what these mail bags contained 
people at this date would say, to make up for the lapse of my 
memory I had made up a pack of lies. Before this time I did 
not think there were so many little trinkets which could be 
picked up around a house — many of little or no value, which 
could be esteemed as souvenirs. Pieces of silk and sometimes 
whole dresses ; bits o»f linen and even Bibles and hymn books 
were in this stolen pile ; ivory piano keys were a favorite. Per- 
haps there was two hundred and fifty thousand dollars' worth 


of assorted silverware and ladies' jewelry. If asked what be- 
came of it I could not tell. We had "lifters" too. 

Here at this battle (as some called it and as all did who 
wanted to make it appear to the girls at home that they had 
been in a great fight when in reality it was only a little skir- 
mish; my idea of a battle I early found was quite different 
from that of most people, and is even yet; but to' my story) 
we had two> men, one of whom I have already mentioned — 
the man who said that if he believed as I did he would cross the 
Rio Grande that night when I told him that the war was going 
to last eight years or longer and that he need not be afraid o>f 
not being able to get into 1 the battle, that the Yankees would 
fight and that he would get his stomach full of them before the 
thing ended. He was a member of a Committee oi Public 
Safety at home and was the biggest blue-eyed coward I ever 
saw, excepting one other. 

The two* men messed together, H — — and B (if I 

spelled their names out it might be a reflection on brave men 

bearing these names). B was an old nigger-driver and 

a thorough blow-hard, a brag, a white-livered coward. These 
two men had never been in a battle or an engagement of any 
sort, but always after one was over turned up with wonderful 
stories of where they had been, and on one occasion came in 
with bullet holes shot through their coats and vests, which they 
had hung up in a tree ; the range of the holes would have killed 
them dead, and it was a give-away. 

While we were lying down behind the levee waiting for the 
Federal boats to come down, these two* men were lying close 
together. A lot of the boys were watching them. When the 
order came to fire, of course every man rose on top of the levee 
and shot at an object, the boat at least, while these two- men lay 
flat on their backs and elevated their guns, raising them as high 
as their arms would reach, and fired on a level with the levee, 
seeing which the boys who 1 were watching them rushed on and 


seized them, and running up to the top' of the levee with them 
in their arms, screaming and yelling at the top of their lungs 
to the Federals, "Shoot them! Shoot them! Shoot them!" 

Cunningham's big gun went off, and though bullets flew 
like hail form the boats, not one of the party of ten was hurt. 
It was said that the Federals ran up a white flag before Cun- 
ningham's second shot was fired, thinking that this running on 
the ramparts with the men in their arms was a ruse. 

It would have taken just such heroic strength as this to 
have taken to battle any member of the Committee of Public 
Safety, as both of these men were, and I never heard of any 
member of the Committee of Public Safety in the South dying 
an honorable death in war times, though many of them might 
have died a natural death. 

We had scarcely secured prisoners, mail and the provisions 
off the boats, which were on fire, before the Federal infantry, 
ten times our strength, came double-quicking down the wide 
plantation road. Whoever tells you that any five hundred 
cavalrymen were ever known to' stand up against any ten thou- 
sand infantry tells you a lie, and don't you believe it. Horses 
were not built for that purpose, and cavalrymen know it. 

We went away from there. The Federals rigged up their 
pulling machines and in less than twenty-four hours had the 
river cleared of its obstruction and from then on dow T n the 
banks of the river were well guarded by both armies, we to 
keep the Yanks from straying away and getting lost in the 

After this we had many short engagements, and at the bat- 
tle of Yellow Bayou three hundred and eighty of our men of 
Polanagac's infantry division were killed in an instant in a 
hopeless assault in obeying -an order emanating from Louisiana 
rum, rum, rum, hot and steaming from the still. This Gen- 
eral was shot in General McGruder's headquarters in Hous- 
ton, Texas, some months after this for his high-flying and do- 


ing a great act of injustice to a man who was a fighter, a Chris- 
tian and a soldier, and of which I shall tell later. 

At Mansura and Cherokee Swamps we engaged the enemy. 
At the latter place we lost our heavy artillery, known to the 
boys as the "bull battery," six sixty-four pounders pulled by 
oxen — old siege guns that no general worthy of the stars 
would think of wasting time with. Skirmishes and small bat- 
tles were every day occurrences all this summer in the La 
Fourche country, and occasionally over on the Mississippi 
River, two> only of which I shall write of and about, and that 
only to show "what fools these mortals be" who follow rum, 
rum, rum. 

One was the attack made by Louisiana rum, rum, rum, with 
eight hundred as good soldiers as ever shouldered a musket, on 
a stockade of logs twelve feet high, double port-holed, situated 
behind a big ditch and backed up by six thousand negro sol- 
diers armed with the latest implements of war, and whoi fougnt 
under the black Hag, to reach which we had to march across an 
open field of six or eight hundred yards, every third man carry- 
ing an ax and a ladder. The man who would undertake such 
a fight as this should not be allowed to live one hour ; but "war 
is hell" and soldiers are sworn to obey. The man who or- 
dered the assault was too well rummed, rummed, rummed to 
go along. Surely that would be the case. Three hundred 
and forty men were killed in the twinkling of an eye. None 
were wounded ; all were killed. We did not bury our dead. 

The next was the most successful battle and raid that I 
ever had anything to do with, and I only had to do with that 
because I knew the man who commanded it and planned it and 
that there was noi Louisiana rum about it, and I refer to* Colo- 
nel J. C. Vincent of the Louisiana cavalry. We were up 
Bayou Tache and La Fourche and getting very hungry. The 
Federals had an immense supply depot on their side of Bayou 
Atachafalia, known as Burwick's Bay, now as Morgan City. 


We actually and absolutely needed those supplies, and some 
heroic scouting done by parties I need not name settled the 
fact that there were only about eight hundred Federals guard- 
ing them and that there were only six hundred Federals at La 

We collected all the "sugar coolers," troughs two feet deep, 
six feet wide, eight feet long, with flat bottoms, in which the 
molasses was poured to> cool and settle and sugar granulate. 
Six men were put in each, each man with one paddle, canoe 
fashion, when in the water, and carrying their cooler as though 
they were carrying a coffin when "turtling" it overland. Only 
side arms were carried. There was no moon on those nights 
and the tide no> more waited then for men than now. Some 
way above Morgan City we struck the falling tide and took to 
the water like so many ducks, without making any noise, for 
our paddles worked underneath as a duck's foot does. 

We landed at the right spot, and without any sort of excite- 
ment or noise we deliberately pulled our boats up on the edge 
of the bank above tide water and quietly walked up to say, 
"Good morning, Mr Yankee!" They got up and beat their 
reveille in our honor, it would seem, for a more surprised set of 
men never lived on earth. We just simply told them that they 
were ours, and putting the words to* action took their guns 
and told them that we were after grub and that we had brought 
no tobacco along to pay for it, and that we were not dealing in 
Louisiana rum. In other words, we pointed down the rail- 
road toward La Fourche and told them to git, and they got 
double quick, and a happier set of men I nevei 1 saw. I refer 
to the retreating Federals. Depend upon it, we were all right, 
and furthermore know you that nothing went into our little 
boats to the other side of the river in the nature o>f Louisiana 
rum. But it was all good, solid, substantial, first-class edibles, 
and like beavers we worked, and before night we had every- 


think 00 the other bank that was worth moving, with a lot of 
ammunition and twelve hundred stand of arms. 

We spiked their cannon and dismantled a locomotive, while 
our sappers and miners went back and destroyed a culvert or 
two. We destroyed nothing and gave the citizens of the place 
to understand that we were "perfect Southern gentlemen." 

Had the man who commanded this expedition commanded 
the army of New Mexico, what a great difference there would 
have been in the result! * * * Had he have commanded 
the Confederate army or any considerable portion of it, and 
especially the Department of Louisiana, Banks never would 
have gotten out of the State and we would not have lost one- 
quarter of the men we did lose. Dick Taylor was General — 
yes, indeed, no body doubted that surely he was. Was not he 
a brother-in-law o>f our Government, Mr. Jefferson Davis? 
And was it not a fact that he did not have any very extensive 
acquaintance with people out of Mississippi from which to se- 
lect generals ? 

I knew Jeff Davis many times over better than tens of 
thousands of people who 1 had shaken hands with him in their 
day, or than the millions or more who* were at all times ready 
to* fall down and worship him could have ever known him;. I 
never knew of any one single public-spirited, really noble, char- 
itable act the man ever did, do- you ? With him it was a case 
of big me, little you all the time — a man of great ability in cer- 
tain lines; a worker of men who handled them as the potter 
does clay ; a hypnotizer of women. 

That he was a great ladies' man no man who ever knew 
him will deny. I know that many people rate him as a states- 
man. On what they predicate their rating I have never been 
able to see. He was a man of wonderful dislikes, and I never 
knew him to have any great likes. He was no* great thinker 
on any subject, but did have a very good faculty for collecting 
the thoughts of others that were good and matching them up 


and shaping them so that his fellows thought they were his 
own children. 

I saw considerable of him. I never saw a smile on his 
countenance nor heard a kind word from him to any one. His 
public documents and messages never had more than a passing 
remark to* make of any one, but from first to last were all filled 
with I, I, I, or the Government, the Government, the Govern- 
ment, which was the same thing, as there was no one around 
or about him that ever undertook tc suggest anything only as 
it was done in a round-about, apparently careless way. He 
was no conversationalist, yet a good entertainer when there 
were ladies around, and a very good listener when he thought 
that by listening he could hear something which could be put to 
personal advantage. 

Few men ever lived in a free country like ours, of free 
people as we are supposed to be, who* had the power of over- 
awing and making others who came into 1 his presence feel so 
very small, and what was worse, make them keep that feeling 
up all their lives. I never saw anything good in the man 
though I tried toi time and again. He was largely the prime 
mover of secession and possibly was the proper one to have 
been selected as the President of the Confederacy, but I be^ 
lieve that any common, honest, clodhopper of a planter of the 
South who' made no 1 pretensions to statesmanship could have 
selected five hundred who* could have led the South with 
greater honor and credit. No one, aye, no one else could have 
done worse. 

It is absolutely repellant to my idea of man's power to say 
or believe that the South, could have been conquered as it was 
without being given one iota of terms or conditions except as 
stated before were given by General Grant at Appomattox. 

Now, reader, supposing you had been the President of the 
Confederacy; when you plainly saw that it was all day with 
your cause and you had seen extended to you an olive branch, 


would you have run away from your office and sought to escape 
out of the country and leave your people whom you had in- 
volved in such troubles to 1 their own wretchedness? Even 
supposing that if you escaped to England you were going to 
get all the money over there for Confederate cotton, estimated 
at $22,500,000? Who did get it? 

The man who places himself at the head of any sort of an 
enterprise, be it ever so small or ever so large, should in doing 
so say, "With it I rise; with it I perish." Did Mr. Davis do 
so in any one single instance? Can any one show where he 
represented or in any way engaged in any sort of a move that 
would alleviate the sufferings and the distress of the people at 
home, much less the Confederate soldier in the field ? 

I know that there are a lot of men, worshipers and syco- 
phants in the South who> think that because the women of the 
South were so infatuated over Davis that they should make 
and sing songs in his praise. The women of the South were 
fooled in this matter, as in all others in which they were in any 
way wrong. The great and noble people of the South, who 
not only loved their country, but their neighbor, never swal- 
lowed Jeff Davis. He was forced on the people by a set of 
ringsters, politicians, who looked only for self and spoils, who 
largely became "scallazvags" after they had sold and betrayed 
the South. 

Once in about so often we see a piece going around in the 
Southern papers under different heads, but all referring to the 
prison life of Jeff Davis, told in such a way as to incite and 
excite sympathy with the people of the South, regardless of 
merit or truth. Elsewhere I have referred to the returning 
soldier's playing on the sympathies of the poor women and 
children at home. 

That Jeff Davis tried to escape through and by or under 
a woman's garment was nothing for the world to be surprised 
at. In that way he was trying to get out of the Confederacy 


and get away from the people of whose ruin he had been the 
prime cause, instead of standing up like a noble, brave and 
chivalrous man and saying to the enemy, "Here, take me!" 

Even at the surrender of Lee's army at Appomattox he 
could have called a halt and brought about a peace conference. 
Would you undertake to ask why he did not do- it ? No man 
can answer and do it at all creditably to< Jefferson Davis' name. 

When I travel through the South, as I have in the last few 
years, and see the condition of affairs down there, all brought 
about by reason of the secessionists deceiving the people and 
financially betraying them and selling them out — no other way 
to account for it, for there is no man of common intelligence 
today who> will undertake to say that two and one-half million 
fighting free men, with two 1 and one-half million bread-pro- 
ducing slaves (the negroes at home) could ever be conquered, 
could ever be whipped by any sort of numbers that might be 
brought against them — I ask myself how can any honest man 
love a secession Democrat, and especially of the Jeff Davis 

The South had the advantage of people as well as of 
ground. It had the advantage of climate as well as produc- 
tiveness of soil. Shall we say that it was a decree of our 
Creator that negro slavery should be abolished, that all this 
may be accounted for and the South become reconciled to its 
fate? Let the more rabid, deep-in-the-wool and skin-dyed ab- 
olitionist who ever lived go> in the South today and say, if he 
dares, but that the condition of the negro in the South today 
is many times worse than it was in the days of slavery, while 
that of the white people is actually deplorable in many parts 
of what was once the most lovely of all the Southern land. 

I care not who assails what I have written. Truth is 
mighty and will prevail, and will stand when all falsehoods and 
deceptions and villainies shall have passed away, and by it I 
stand, caring not one iota for the opinion of young men who 


have not seen what I have seen, or of old men whoi, although 
they lived in the same days with me, saw little and knew less. 
Nor must it not be charged against me that I am sore because 
any of my family owned negroes that were freed and other 
property which was made valueless thereby, for such was not 
the case. To the contrary, -my ancestors emancipated their 
slaves and settled them on Government land. Neither can it 
be said that the woman whoi afterward became my wife owned 

I was no> abolitionist, yet I believed that slavery should be 
confined to* certain territory, and I further believe that had 
the majority of the people of the United States come to vote 
against slavery in a fair election, means for the gradual eman- 
cipation of the negro should take place. Yet in those days I 
was not a politician or a statesman and gave the matter but 
little concern, excepting when I saw cruel punishment meted 
out to a slave who* would dare to> be free, by a cruel, barbarous, 
cold-blooded, heartless overseer after the slave had been ironed 
down, as was often the case on the large sugar and cotton plan- 


In the winter of '59 my business was to visit the sugar plan- 
tations on the lower Brazos River in Texas, many of which no 
one was allowed to go into or come out from excepting on a 
pass from the owner or from the overseer from within, and re- 
port on things in general and check up accounts. 

The — — was one of these, and, armed with a pass from the 
proprietor, I presented it to> the overseer, who looked at it 
upside down and then at me, and said in substance : "If this 

is all right, you're all right; but if it ain't 

right, I will make you wish that you were in hell or some other 
place that burns not as hot as I will make this for you here." 

This, coming from a cruel, monstrous looking, beast-like 
being with snake-like eyes darting their flashings at me, made 
me feel sort of tremulous. My horse was well nigh broken 
down from a long day's journey which I had made in order 
to get to this place, for the proprietor told me that I would be 
treated very nicely, and he was wanting more favors of the 
bank which I represented as credit man. 

The overseer carried a big six-shooter on one hip and a 
bowie knife on the other and a great big blacksnake whip in 
one hand and, if I am not mistaken, a pair of iron knuckles 
under the glove on his left hand. He motioned for me to> fol- 
low him and he went down the road a way to* a cabin, where 
a white woman was standing on a porch. He gave her my 
pass to read and she declared it all right, and, turning around, 
he said, "Well, come on with me." The woman hollered to 
know if we were not coming to supper. He yelled back, 
"Send it down to us." So we rode on to the sugar mill. 

It was in the midst of the grinding season. I was told to 



go and feed my horse and throw my saddle and stuff up in the 
corn bin, but I could not trust my saddle-bags there, for in 
them were many thousands of dollars' worth of notes that I 
had taken and other statements of account that had to< be looked 
over and approved by the overseer or owner of the plantation 
I fed my horse, but kept my saddle-bags on my shoulders and 
came back to> the mill, going to the boiling room first, where 
I had seen the overseer go. 

I was standing looking on when he came up and said: 
"If you want to find out anything you had better follow me." 
He undertook to take my saddle-bags and throw them over a 
beam, but I told him no, that I could not part with them ; then 
I got scared for a fact. He took me down to the furnaces 
where six-foot wood was being thrown in under the boiler 
which furnished steam to' run the great grinders. The negro 
whoi was doing this was about twenty-five years old, six feet 
one inch tall, weighing about one hundred and ninety or two 
hundred pounds. A more perfect nigger man I had never 
seen. He had no> clothes on whatever. A three-fourths by 
three-inch band was riveted about his hips and another around 
his neck, then a bar of iron one-half of an inch thick and two 
wide was riveted to the one on the hip and to the one on the 
neck, leaving a projection two feet high, bending over on 
which was hung a large-sized Kentucky cowbell. Around 
his ankles a chain was riveted, and that back to a two hundred 
and fifty or three hundred pound piece of iron. 

In this condition this nigger was firing the furnace. How 
long he had been there I never found out. He was still fir- 
ing there the next morning when I came down. The overseer 
stepped up to within six or eight feet of him, raised his black- 
snake whip, twirling it around in the air full arm's length with 
an oath which only demons could use, and with a swash of the 

whip he screamed out, "You'll' run away again, will you 

!" Six or eight powerful lashes were laid on the 


negro in this condition, who> was praying, "Oh, Massa ! Oh, 
Massa!" but that did no good. Turning around to* me this 
demon said, "That's the way we are going to treat every ab- 
olitionist who comes down in this country." 

I followed the overseer up into' the boiling room, carrying 
my saddle-bags on my shoulders all the time. My only 
weapons of defense was a pair of small Derringer pistols, 
which I carried in my breeches pocket. He walked around, 
slashing a nigger with his blacksnake whip here and there, 
though all were hard at work, and this to> both men and women 
alike. I followed the brute around until finally we landed up 
in a room in which there were several cots. There was a par- 
tition in the room, showing that it might be used by men and 
women. I was told to- take my pick among the cots and he 
would send me something to eat directly, which came in the 
shape of a big chunk of corn dodger pome and boiled bacon on 
an old tin plate, and with nothing else, and I did eat. I finally 
found some drinking water and was offered some stuff they 
called "metheglam," the smell of which was enough. 

I went to bed early, for I was very tired, and fell fast asleep, 
forgetting all of my troubles and fears. Shortly after I had 
gone to bed a party o>f four or five young men and as many 
young women came in. They were having a jolly big time, 
of which I knew nothing, for I was sound asleep. I wore 
boots, which were standing at the head of my bed, which they 
filled with boiling hot syrup and then jumped on my bed and 
screamed, "Fire! Fire!" I grabbed my saddle-bags, my 
pants and coat and started off without my boots to escape, as 
I thought, a mill on fire, when the men jumped and yelled, 
"Your boots!" I shouted back, "I don't want them; where 
will we go to get out of the fire ?" 

They all, men and women, commenced to laugh. There 
I was standing before them, under a dim light, with my clothes 
and saddle-bags in my arms in my shirt tail, for up to that time 


of life I never had worn a pair of drawers. They laughed fit 
to» kill themselves, and one broke out and said with a profound 
oath, "If he had only stuck his feet into his boots we would 
have had fun." Whereupon I went back to my cot and there 
were my boots filled full of hot syrup', which would have ruined 
me for life had I have stuck my foot into it. Of course my 
boots were ruined. 

I sent for the overseer as early as possible in the morning, 
for I knew better than to leave the plantation without his send- 
ing a man to> the outer gate with me. He came out rubbing 
his eyes and swearing that he did not want to be bothered by 
people like me who came there seeing the niggers. I told him 
that "I represented the banking and commission house of Mr. 
So-and-So' and Mr. Soi-and-So*. The proprietor gave me the 
note he did to see you and said to* have you check up this bill, 
but you see I have got no> boots and I have got to get away to 
get something to eat, and I may be back. With an oath he 
told me to go, and that I had better not come back, and I did 
not. I rode eighteen miles to Columbia through the worst road 
a man ever rode before I was able to get a pair of shoes. 

Now you ask me of the change I have seen. It was less 
than six years after this identical date that this same negro 
was presiding over the lower House of the Texas Legislature 
as its Speaker in the Twelfth Texas Legislature. And it was 
he who passed upon more measures looking to the internal im- 
provement than all the Speakers who had filled the chairs in 
the eleven previous Legislatures and all the Congresses of the 
Republic of Texas. For many years afterward he was Pro- 
bate Judge of that very identical county, and is now, or was 
a short time back. * * * 

The owner of an adjoining plantation made a raid on this 
plantation and on this overseer's wife. In defending her this 
overseer was shot in a dozen or more places and then cut to 
pieces with a bowie knife, and Jackson, the murderer, was 


turned loose by a jury of his peers two years afterward, and 
two> years after that was himself shot to' pieces by a cowboy 
whom he had insulted. The cowboy was never molested. 

My business brought me in contact with all the largest cot- 
ton and cane plantations on the Brazos, Colorado, Guadalupe 
and Trinity Rivers of Texas, and I was drilled into 1 my busi- 
ness and thoroughly instructed as to> how to size up a planta- 
tion and its owners and overseers. Upon my report largely 
depended the credit by the Houston, Galveston and New Or- 
leans factors and bankers. 

In those days business was conducted on quite a different 
plan from what it is now in any part of the world. The man 
who owned a tract of land, clear and unincumbered, and four 
or five niggers, could usually procure credit to- the full face 
value of the niggers and the land, either ,in ready cash or in 
goods furnished for plantation supplies. The rates were ten 
per cent per annum interest, one year's time, renewable every 
year, with two* and one-half per cent for advancing, making 
the interest equal to* twelve and one-half per cent. 

If the transaction was for ready .money, it was to buy more 
niggers. On a good plantation, under good management, and 
cotton at five and six cents a pound, a negro was calculated to 
pay for himself and mule and provisions for both in three 
years' time on a cotton plantation and in two years' time on a 
sugar plantation. 

When an up-country planter opened an account with a com- 
mission merchant or banker in New Orleans or any other city 
he paid full retail price for all goods and two and one-half per 
cent for advancing. The contract virtually gave over to the 
factor all of the planter's earthly possessions, and it was often 
the case that the factor furnished the overseer for the place, 
much as the courts of the country now appoint "receivers" for 
lame ducks. A note given "for plantation supplies" covered 
everything, no exceptions, 


The average cotton planter was a humane master, and I 
have visited hundreds of plantations where the negroes on 
them were treated with the greatest consideration and Chris- 
tian kindness, and they were treated just about as the home 
folks were. 

It was on the big sugar plantations and large Mississippi 
cotton plantations that cruelty was shown to the slaves by the 
barbarous, cruel overseer, the like of which I have described. 
The owners were in Europe or in some Northern summer re- 
sort or winter resort in the South, scarcely ever visiting the 
plantation. The overseer was the go-between for the sup- 
posed owner and the real owner, the banker or the commission 
merchant. The average Southern planter of this class was 
a bankrupt from the start. Money was furnished him by his 
factor, very much as rich people or corporations furnish money 
to pensioners, retired clerks, etc. 

The negro by nature is indolent. He is impudent, sassy, 
and if given an inch will take an ell at any time. He is a great 
flatterer. In order to keep him straight the lash was neces- 
sary and has always been found necessary, more or less, in all 
well-regulated families. 

N I have been in all of the great slave pens or marts in the 
big cities like Richmond, Mobile, New Orleans and Galves- 
ton, and I never saw anything so wonderfully out of the way or 
more than might be expected by any sane person who' looked 
at the thing just as it was and had to be. Niggers were raised 
in Kentucky and Tennessee and Virginia, just as horses and 
mules were, for sale to the cotton and sugar planters of the 
South, and just as they raised hemp with which to bale the cot- 
ton, and just as cattle and horses and hogs are raised today for 
sale or consignment to* the big markets, 

I was never commissioned to buy any negroes or to sell 
any, but I will explain how the matter was conducted. A com- 
mission house received an order to buy four or fifty, as the 


case might be, field hands, men under twenty, not over thirty. 
He went to the mart and that number of hands were picked 
out, or. a less number or a larger number, or half a dozen girls 
or half a dozen women for maid-servants, hotel servants or 
house servants. They were brought forward for exhibition. 
The purchaser had but a few questions to ask. No dickering 
as to price was had. On the bulletin board were written words 
to this effect, "On Next Wednesday (three or four days off 
from the time they were selected) we will sell on the block 
twenty abled-bodied young men, field hands. None under 
eighteen, none over thirty." 

On that day the agent came and the bidding commenced. 
If there were one, two or three parties around there whoi wanted 
that particular sort of a drove, possibly the bidding was live- 
ly and the man who* got that bunch of niggers paid a thousand 
or twelve hundred dollars apiece for them. The separation 
of families was not as frequent as man) would think, for it 
was not either good sense, public policy or financial interest to 
do it. Then it made no great difference to the negro. Very 
few of them had anything like affections or attachments for 
each other. The mother might cry and go* on for a little while, 
but with the coming of the morrow it was entirely gone out of 
her mind, and so also with the father. Like cats, they have 
little or no thoughts of the past and no gratitude in their 

"Uncle Tom's Cabin" pictured forth some things in good 
shape, and as a play to catch the eye and senses of the masses 
and also as an educator it was a great success. The people oi 
the North were educated to believe the hard stories which were 
told of how the poor slave was treated down South, just as the 
warm-hearted, noble-souled women of the South were edu- 
cated to believe in the cruelty of the Yankees, as I have set 
forth and explained elsewhere, and in turn, just as the people 


of the North were educated to believe in the Andersonville 
prison horrors. 

I attended a reunion oi the Grand Army of the Republic 
where a man was selling pictures representing the prison hor- 
rors of Andersonville, and they were all on a par with the one 
I will undertake to> describe. This picture represented four 
large mules drawing a modern four-wheeled truck wagon with 
standards upon each end, six feet high, chained together on top. 
This was filled crosswise with human bodies. The body of 
the wagon was twelve feet long, six feet high and five feet 
wide. These human bodies were laid crosswise and stacked 
up, rounding on top, just as one may see a load of frozen hogs 

These bodies were stacked up on top of one another and 
were being driven to where a pile of human bodies one hun- 
dred feet long by fifty feet high were thrown together. No 
intelligent man who looked at those pictures but knew that he 
was looking at a lie, an impossibility ; that there were no such 
mules in harness down there ; that there were no such wagons 
made in those days ; that no. bodies of dead human beings could 
be piled up in any such a way as that. If all the prisoners at 
Andersonville had been dead and thrown in one big pile it 
could not have made such a pile as the picture represented. 
Notwithstanding all this, that fox-faced, cunning old limping 
hypocrite was doing a big business, selling those lithograph 
pictures to the soldiers' wives and daughters, I never was a 
gambling man, but had I have been I would have bet one thou- 
sand dollars to one that the man who sold the pictures never 
was in any sort of an army except an army of deceiving thieves 
who are as bad as cutthroats. Oh, how the women would weep 
over those pictures ! 

The worst feature of slavery that I saw was what was 
termed "missignation," which word implies little or much to 
different people, but to me it implies much. It was a growing 


evil. It is not the case in the South now. The white and 
black races are becoming more and more separated. One can- 
not see in the city of New Orleans today one octoroon, where 
fifty years ago he might have seen one hundred. There are 
many less kinky headed white children born in the South now 
than there were fifty years ago, and I. may safely say fifty to 
one less. 

I have referred elsewhere to the migration of the negro 
from the South, and I have thought that in consequence thereof 
the race will be swallowed up, dried up, evaporated. While it 
had been on the increase; since the war, it was under conditions 
that do not exist in their migratory state. 

I was traveling with a gentleman through Arizona and was 
asking him of the stock conditions. He told me that it had 
been very profitable, but that in the past few years the range 
had been over-fed and the grass was dying out, and he said ( I 
am not undertaking to repeat his exact words) : "Cows down 
here evaporate and disappear, just like the niggers down South 
in Georgia where I came from do, and no one can tell what 
becomes of them." I believe that races have thus disappeared 
from being swallowed up. Did you ever see a dead cat, a dead 
wild goose or duck or humming bird ? I do not mean one that 
has been killed or trapped. 

The negro will never rule the United States again as in the 
past, and his day of rule in the South has passed away never 
to return again, and the people of the North say, "It is well.*' 


I have been asked to give a history of the building of the 
Confederate monument in Chicago 1 , how it was brought about, 
its early inception, origination and completion, by people who 
knew that I had done some early guiding and scouting in that 

It is often the case that when a man undertakes to accom- 
plish a great undertaking he must place dummies and work 
from afar in the rear and through stool-pigeons and wooden 
soldiers and decoys, and often not let his right hand know what 
his left hand is doing. 

The story has so many points of beginning and only one 
ending that I scarcely know where to commence, but its first 
inception was from the following little incident : 

When Grant crossed down below Vicksburg and after the 
battle of Big Black, where the Confederacy through P ember- 
ton's drunken incompetency lost so many soldiers unneces- 
sarily (referred to in previous chapters) he came down to Jack- 
son, Mississippi, and sent a "feeler" on down toward Mobile on 
the railroad leading in that direction. I was on my way from 
Richmond to the Trans-Mississippi Department with the most 
important dispatch which up to that time it had been my mis- 
sion to bear. 

I had on a light pair of pants, light shoes, one shirt, a Fed- 
eral blue blouse and what once was a Panama hat. I had my 
Derringer pistols in my breeches pocket. The dispatch was 
pinned on my blouse inside of the lapel. I had two packages 
of five plugs each of the finest Gravely tobacco that ever was 
sold in Richmond, a' package in each inside pocket. There was 
method in my madness when I had this done. The heavy dis- 



patch paper which covered them, the heavy red seals placed at 
each end would indicate that they were of extra value; and 
so was Gravely in those days. Such tobacco is worth $3.00 
per pound now. 

These were my tubs that I carried along to throw to the 
whales. I had best tell this whale story that I may be the bet- 
ter understood. In the days gone beyond recall when whal- 
ing was a business followed by a large number of people, the 
harpooner was a man unto himself. He stood in the front of 
the boat and cast his fluke irons in the best part of the whale he 
could strike. To this harpoon would be attached three or five 
hundred feet of rope coiled up in the boat, which would pay 
out very fast when the whale got to feeling the effects of the 

He made thinks lively around there and when three or 
five hundred feet of rope was played out the boat with the four 
or five sailors in it bobbed around on the water lively. When 
Mr. Whale came to the surface he broke for the boat and there 
would be no chance of getting away from him. So the boat- 
men were always provided with a few tubs which they threw at 
the whale, and while the whale was demolishing the tub they 
made good their escape. So my dispatch-like packages of to- 
bacco were my tubs. 

The whale struck me about four o'clock one evening. I 
had no more idea of seeing Yankees down in that section thirty 
miles south of Jackson on the Mobile road than I had of seeing 
ghosts. I was right on them before I knew it. I was off 
guard, not expecting danger. That is when we most often 
get it to our heart's content, for, as Garfield said when he was 
nominated, "It is the unexpected which occurs." 

I had crossed a little stream and gone perhaps a mile when, 
looking before me in the big road, I saw quite a dust. It was 
an open pine woods country. The next I saw was twenty-five 
or thirty well-mounted, very dusty Yankees. I knew them 


quicker than they knew who I was. I rode out to the side of 
the road to let them pass, as though it were a matter of every- 
day occurrence, but the commander of the advance guard did 
not see it that way, and yelled out, "Hey, Johnnie!" then I 
knew that it was a Westerner, for that was what all Western 
troopers called us rebels. "Heave to here and tell us how far it 
is to the next water." I turned my mule and said, "Oh, well, 
I'll show you. It is only down here a mile." And he rode 
toward me and I rode toward him, coming together slantwise- 
like, and true to his Yankee instinct, and as I knew would be 
the case, he reached down and took out of my pocket next to 
him what he supposed to be what I wanted him toi think it was, 
and then seeing the package in the other pocket, he took that 
out, while I picked off and chewed up and swallowed Secretary 
of War Sedden's autographed special order by command of 
the President. 

I saw that my captor felt happy when he told me, "You 
will consider yourself a prisoner of war and as such, sir, deport 

"All right," says I. 

We soon reached the creek, and then others reached it, and 
soon others reached it, and then the infantry came up, and 
there might have been twenty-five thousand live Yankees there 
that night. 

I saw a squad of cavalry coming and I looked at the chief 
rider, whom I recognized from pictures I had seen of him. I 
knew that it was General John A. Logan and that he was the 
"Sanchoi Pansy" of the lay-out. Colonel Bolton of the Chi- 
cago flying artillery was the man who> captured me. He 
turned me and my dispatches, as he supposed, over to> Logan, 
who was tired and gave me no> particular attention save to ask 
where I was from, which I answered promptly and told the 
truth. They paid no attention to me, nor did I much to them. 


They divided their crackers and coffee and bacon with me, and 
soon all were laying down flat on the ground and sound asleep. 

Logan called Bolton to him and said loud enough for me 
to hear, "That Johnnie has played a hell o>f a trick on you. 
See here what he had in those papers." And out he drew my 
ten plugs of highly prized and very valuable tobacco, a division 
of which then commenced, when I walked up and asked if I 
might not have a little piece of it myself, that I was carrying it 
home to my old father in Texas from an old uncle who manu- 
factured it. The lie went, and so did I soon after. 

Soon everything was still in camp and I did not ask, 
"Where's your mule?" But I put to practice tactics which I 
had learned in the Indian country, and soon on all fours I was 
out of the dead line and by daybreak I was twenty-five miles 
away and at Dr. Lyons' White Surphur Springs, Mississippi. 
Sedden's dispatch was delivered in my hand writing and not 
in his. The delay that was caused by my running up against 
the Federal army was more than made up by running "fer- 
ninst" them. 

Sixteen years after this date I went to the Chicago post- 
office second-class division to pay postage on a paper that I 
was then publishing in Chicago. Colonel Bolton, for that was 
he, looked at me as much as to say he wanted a drink from an 
old acquaintance, and after eyeing me over and having his clerk 
give me a receipt, he said: "Haven't I met you somewhere?" 

"Yes, I have been there," was my reply; "and I think from 
the look of your jib you have either crossed my trail or I have 

yours, and I suggest that we adjourn over to ," well, it 

was where liquid refreshments were dealt out. 

He asked me what army I belonged to and then I caught 
on. I recognized both the man and his voice, and said I, "Are 
you ready to pay me for that tobacco, to say nothing about the 

He jumped up and grabbed my hand and I his. We had 


a drink or two and then he said, "Follow me. Now we will 
have some fun." 

He took me to the Grand Pacific Hotel, where General Lo^ 
gan was in conference with "Long Jones," his party's State 
Committeeman ; for Logan was hard run for one or two more 
votes to return him to* the United States Senate, and Jones "he 
paid freight on all goods wanted." And Logan got there 

Bolton bolted into the room with me without ceremony, and 
carrying me up in front of Logan said: "General, here's that 
Johnnie rebel prisoner that you put me under arrest for for 
two weeks. Now take him." 

The first words that Logan said to me were: "That was 
almighty good tobacco that your uncle was sending to your 

I replied, "It went, didn't it, General?" 

Turning around to Bolton he said : "It seems as though it 
did with Bolton." 

He wanted to> know of me what dispatch it was that I car- 
ried. We laughed over the matter a little. He wanted to 
know if I got through with it, and I said I did. 

From that on Logan and I were great personal friends, 
and there was nothing honorable in the power of men that I 
would not have done for him, and I esteem Mrs. Logan as one 
of the grandest of American woman living today. 

Grant had served his country eight years and was return- 
ing around the world and would soon reach San Francisco. I 
had already made a few "extemporaneous remarks" before 
large audiences in favor of a third term deal. It was Logan 
who suggested to me to call the Confederates together in the 
city of Chicago to welcome Grant, and making that a nucleus 
organize, and he would see that the ground in which the Con- 
federates were buried in Chicago would be turned over to us to 


I put advertisements in the Chicago papers, calling for a 
meeting of the ex-Confederates in Chicago, to meet in the Tre- 
mont Hotel to form ourselves into a company to> welcome U. 
S. Grant. There was no name signed to the advertisement, 
but the boys came. 

I was not acquainted with more than two or three. I had 
one of my acquaintances nominate a chairman for the meeting 
and another nominate a secretary. I was not known in the deal, 
nor did I open my mouth in the meeting. Better men could 
not have been selected than were. One, the secretary, turned 
turtle after he had been presented with a fine silver service for 
his efficiency as secretary, and solely because the boys would 
not elect him president. 

At the proper time I introduced a resolution for the meet- 
ing to have a committee of three appointed to correspond with 
the Secretary of War with a view of obtaining the proper au- 
thority for the better care of the graves of the seventy-eight 
hundred Confederate soldiers who died at Camp Douglas in 
Chicago. I could get no second to my resolution. All of the 
boys were clerks and similarly conditioned, who were great 
Confederates to hear them talk when there was no> one else 
around, but who feared public opinion and sentiment and the 
blue pencil of their bosses as a slave did the lash. 

After assuring the crowd that I had the assurance of Sen- 
ator Logan and the then Secretary of War, Robert Lincoln, 
there were half a dozen seconds and the committee was in- 
creased from my suggestion to nine, and I have often been 
surprised that it had not been increased to the full number of 
members who* were there that night. These little clerkies gave 
me a great deal of trouble and at one time I came very near 
abandoning the undertaking. 

Finally a scheme presented itself through General George 
R. Davis, an ex-Congressman and manager of the World's 
Fair undertaking in Chicago, who sent for me. He and I 


were old neighbors and friends. The conference ended in my 
naming to him six of the boys whose bosses would let them 
go, he to furnish the funds and all expenses, toi Atlanta, 
Georgia, and interview Senator Gordon. I played 'way back 
in the background. This little trip secured the World's Fair 
for Chicago. But for it St. Louis would have carried the day. 

When the boys returned I met them in the Grand Pacific 
Hotel. They treated me as though I wasn't in the deal and 
knew nothing of it. They were swollen up as big as such 
characters could possibly swell. In a few days, however, they 
were down to their normal condition as clerks. 

After this the association met without my knowledge and 
made a deal with a Kentucky Colonel, who had never heard 
the sound of a gun or smelled powder, and who>, for all I know, 
may have made a lot of money out of it. But the monument 
was erected all the same, and it stands there today — a forty 
thousand dollar monument, the finest up to its day that ever 
marked a spot where a Confederate soldier lay, ninety-five per 
cent of the cost of which was paid by the business men of Chi- 
cago. I could name two or three men of the Camp in Chi- 
cago who are really worthy of esteem. The balance are all on 
a parity with that class of people who, if you but stick a feather 
in their hat and give them a few hot toddies and a few words 
of flattery, away they go "bigger men than old Grant." 

It has been my observation through life that the smaller 
the man, the greater opinion he has of himself; and the less 
he does for the world and for others, the more he becomes 
exalted in his own opinion. Of all detestable things I ever 
came across what could equal a negro baby whitewashed or 
a white man black-washed, i. e., an old grizzly-bearded, gray- 
haired fool and poppin-jay with his beard and hair dyed black? 

The Mohammedan religion teaches that there are seven 
grades in hell and each succeeding one is twice as hot as the 
first or the one preceding it, to "let the punishment fit the 


crime," and that the seventh and hottest one is the hell of the 
hypocrite. The man or woman who thinks that anything is 
to be gained by lying, deceit and hypocrisy would think vastly 
otherwise if he or she would but live a straightforward, honest, 
faithful, virtuous and truthful life.- 

It is the pretender, the actor, the deceiver, the liar, the fallen 
one in all things, who* makes this world one of cruelty. It is 
the truthful man or woman, and it is the truthful boy or girl 
who makes these, whoi make this world all it is of bountifulness 
and beauty. Like begets like in all things, was God's first 
order, and as we sow so shall we reap. Whoi plants blessings 
will never reap thistles, and he who* honestly and faithfully 
and truly seeks to make all mankind with whom he comes in 
contact better and more happy, and who> seeks to» make two 
blades grow where one formerly grew, it is that man or woman 
whoi receives the first lessons in heavenly homeship here on 
earth, to> be made more bright and happy and perpetual in 
that bourne from whence no traveler ever returns. 

It is the lying, deceitful hypocrite and the coward who. has 
made the Christian religion the derision of so many noble, 
honest people. The cowards of the church that wear the cloth 
condone offenses against the tenets of the church until they 
have disgraced the calling soi that the average man of affairs, 
of observation and business experiences, turns from the 
preacher with, if not downright contempt and loathsomeness, 
then with the same feeling that he would from a bad customer, 
as from some one or any one who* comes around him wanting 
something for nothing, ever begging, ever praying for more 
and more, never content and never giving thanks for what is 
given or for what they receive. 

It is part of my religion and belief — I teach it and practice 
it — that God, my great Creator, has no use for the beggar, and 
that He pays no< attention to prayers. He knows in advance 
our wants and, as I believe, it is an insult to Him to spend 


our time in suggesting what He should do>. I mean by this 
these beggarly prayers. The great Creator knows all things, 
provides all things, and He gives all things for good, and He 
expects from) His creatures here below the return of thanks, 
expressions of gratefulness, and to these all things are added. 

I have never seen in my world-wide travels a prosperous, 
contented, happy community but that the preponderant 
peculiarity and characteristic was politeness, thankfulness, 
kindness in all these things which make a sojourner or stranger 
within their gates feel as though he had been promoted many 
degrees heavenward. 

I have never yet seen a first-class hypocrite but that he was 
always wanting to pray with the family he visited. I have 
saved more money in my life by playing shy of the man who 
wanted to make the women and children believe, through and 
by his accursed hypocritical actions and pretensions, that he 
was just a little better than the best man they had ever met be- 
fore, and that he was too utterly, utterly good to ever be bad in 

These are the very, chaps who, when they got to a great city 
like Chicago or New York, want to go "slumming" and want 
to go to the theater, and who are many times over delighted 
with a leg show than they are with any first-class performance ; 
and they are the men who', when they go home, will tell, if 
you are acquainted in that country, all the people around what 
a powerful bad man, what a wonderfully wicked man you are, 
and that you are all the while trying to pilot them into> the dens 
of iniquity. 

I have come across in my day no few of this sort and have 
found without exception the man who professes to be the most 
sanctimonious at home is the most perfect "devilly bug" when 
far enough away as to warrant him in thinking that no- one 
will ever find him out. 

A young man once asked a sage which way would he go 


to find room to advance. The sage pointed to the upper 
shelves of his book case and said, "See, how empty they are!" 
It is thus to>-day. Always was and always will be. The higher 
we ascend, the fewer to interfere with our spreading out. The 
world to-day is more and more demanding noble men, true 
men, natural men, men of thought. And the world will re- 
ward this sort as it has been rewarding them in the last hun- 
dreds of years and especially since the foundation of this great 
Government of human liberty, where all men are equal, except 
that the energetic, industrious, truthful man^and he has but 
few equals — has reached out and has great room in which to 

The teacher, the preacher, the lecturer of to-day who goes 
out assailing wrongs and faults and the untruth is the one 
who will be blessed in both, basket and store. 

No man has a right to participate in any sort of charity or 
the promotion of any sort in religion or politics who owes an- 
other man one cent. For the man whoi owes debts to give 
money to any sort of an enterprise is like taking another man's 
money without his consent. I know of a party, and there are 
millions of them, who tried to 1 make his neighbors and people 
believe that he is a very honest man and a good Christian. He 
entertains the preacher and always contributes largely in as 
public a way as possible when the hat is passed around. This 
man has worse than robbed foreign creditors to the tune of 
thousands of dollars. His ability to successfully play the 
hypocrite, to act the part, never fails to be sufficient to fool and 
deceive any one having anything for sale, if the party comes 
from a distance and relies upon the statement made by the 
neighbors of this man, who in every instance has no knowledge 
or idea of his hypocritical way of making money, through 
making them believe he is a saint, and they in turn giving it 
that way to the salesman. 

That I have paid dear for my experience in this line no one 


should doubt, and I only give my experience as I do in hope 
that it may be of benefit only to those who like myself have 
hearts that prompt desires to the accomplishment of good to all. 

Some years ago I traveled through Georgia and Florida 
to administer on my own estate, in order that my grand- 
children, whom I love so much, and who are to receive it, 
should not spend money to find out how that "Grandpap" was 
an old fool and died a pauper as far as his Southern invest- 
ments were concerned. 

I had planted considerable money on the partnership plan. 
I bet on the honesty of my men, mostly old Confederate sol- 
diers, but did not calculate upon the curses of Almighty God 
which rested on the country. From frosts and unprecedented 
freezes that came on the property every time the trees got old 
enough to bear, and drouths when the cane needed rain to 
mature it, but from no fault of the men whom I "grub-staked," 
I lost my all. Just about as I did when I made a consignment 
of valuable goods in an old rotten hulk of a ship and started 
it through the Indian Ocean, and thus have a cause to charge 
it up to the "acts of God," as my invoices and bills of lading 
would provide for and against such accidents, and as did my 
late contractor when he inserted in my contract the words, 
"Strikes not preventing." 

I was very much annoyed one evening in my Camp when 
there were present quite a number of my old partners — to 
whom I was giving quit-claim deeds — and I was talking with 
that free abandon which has always characterized me in my 
intercourse with my fellowmen, and much as I might to an old 
salt on the decks of a storm-tossed ship, when a lady "butted 
in" and called me to taw for the use of language which, if not 
elegant, was both forcible and expressive, to whom I replied : 
"I did not come down here to this country with a limber-backed 
Bible in my hands and a Gospel Hymn-book to rob and cheat 
the people as they have been to the extent of millions of dollars 


by that class of perambulating, hypocritical and homeless gyp- 
sies, and, Madam, in order that I might not be taken for that 
class of thieves and demons I use language that will not admit 
of any doubt or double construction on that score." Some one 
suggested to the lady, would she now be good ? 

I was traveling in this country in an ambulance which 
would be a cross between a circus ticket wagon and a Pullman 
palace car. For a fact it was a very gay thing on wheels — 
sleeping apartment, kitchen and everything else combined — 
the most perfect outfit of the sort that I or one in forty mil- 
lions ever saw, together with a finely harnessed, spanking span 
of Kentucky mules. It attracted a great deal of attention. 

It was in Griffith, Georgia, a "prescription town" — by this 
is meant the county runs the grog shop, its profits helping the 
tax-payer out (the best thing I ever saw in which any consid- 
erable amount of whisky entered). It was along toward late 
in the evening and our commissary had been replenished at a 
grocery store, while one by one of my five traveling com- 
panions, a nigger on the water wagon, a general on horseback, 
and the other two in the van, went for the liquids. We had 
pulled up to the corner of a prominent street and the law 
would not allow the dispensers of whisky to sell less or more 
than a quart to one man in one day. So we had to take it one 
at a time in order to get a supply to last until we reached a 
prohibition town below, where we had ordered sent from At- 
lanta a supply. I have referred to these prohibition towns 
down South elsewhere already and may again further on. 

I often take great pleasure in wearing a richly diamonded 
jewel representing the degrees of honor I have taken in life, 
which was presented to me by a body of men who may have 
equals, but noi superiors on earth, and by a woman that ought 
of right to stand first-class and does in my estimation. 

Quite a number of men had collected around to see the 
show and to ask where we were going to exhibit and all such 


offensive questions. Everybody, white or black, little or big, 
old or young, took us to be traveling gypsies. I was holding 
the lines, for my turn had not yet come to go» for John Barley- 
corn. A dozen or more schoolgirls of sixteen or eighteen 
came prancing by. I heard one say to another, and they 
passed it all around within my hearing, "Oh, Jane, he is the 
Sancho Pansy Great Mogul King Bee of all the gypsies in all 
the land. Just look at his diamond breast-plate." 

There was quite a number of High Degree men around 
my van admiring it and who read differently from my "breast- 
plate" than did the girls. I called to the young lady and beck- 
oned to> her to come up>, which she did very reluctantly. I 
said, "My young lady, I want to tell your fortune. Let me 
see your right hand." I knew about as much about palmistry 
as I would about navigating an air ship. I looked at her face 
and then at her hand and in substance said : "You are a great 
and close observer. If you are not standing at the head of 
your class it is because you do? not want to. You have it in 
your power toi do as you may in this world and there is a bright 
future before you. You come of a noble family. Be you 
sure to be governed by your first impressions and you will 
never go wrong." All around thought this toi be "a free 
sample," and it was another tub to a whale. 

Her father unbeknown to me was standing close by and 
he wore a "breast-plate" that would nearly match mine. About 
this time a man came up who was known by everybody in the 
city, who was looking for me and without further ado* jumped 
intoi the seat saying, "We will camp so-and-so- to-night," a 
very short distance from the city and a noted camp>-ground, 
and they took it for granted that I was a gypsy king — and 
hither they repaired in great numbers. 

It was two o'clock the next morning before we retired. 
My negro cook had used up the five pounds of extra Java 
ground coffee. My right hand man had emptied all the bottles. 


Several of the ladies insisted in declaring that such coffee they 
had not tasted in years, and Samboi, nigger like, had sliced 
up my choice Cincinnati sugar-cured ham and the ladies were 
loud in declaring it the best they had ever tasted. Man never 
lived who- enjoyed himself more than I did that night. 

I was taken for a Yankee and was so- talked to, having 
previously cautioned my men and traveling companions not 
to> give me away. After my visitors had said about all they 
had to say about Yankees coming down South, etc., etc., it 
was agreed that if they all came down like I did they would be 
voted as good people notwithstanding the results of their first 
visit in force, for I was then in the center of what was Sher- 
man's March to the Sea. None but the men who had said 
nothing knew who I was and what I was. 

I asked the attention of all while I told them that I was an 
old Confederate soldier, and that when I was lying for dead 
on the battle-field no> doubt many of those whoi were standing 
there were playing in the band wagon, as I found that class 
the most disposed to insult visitors from the North. This 
changed the talk quickly, and then we had to go all over the 
field again and my commissary supplies and my hospital 
"doin's" were all gone. 

When the citizens of Chicago joined together to> build and 
erect an equestrian statue to General John A. Logan in Chi- 
cago, which now stands on the Lake Front, a monument not 
only to the hero and statesman it represents, but toi the great- 
ness of the people of Chicago as well, I decided that the ex- 
Confederates in Chicago should turn out in good force at the 
unveiling of this monument, and though I was opposed by 
several of the "clerky" element in the association, who are 
always prepared to say that they were glad that the war ended 
as it did, my efforts were crowned with success, for we had in 
line that day a greater number of ex-Confederate soldiers and 


people of Southern birth than ever before on any occasion, not 
excepting the unveiling of the Grant monument in Lincoln 
Park. This was largely from the fact that I gave a banquet at 
the Tremont House. When one wants to draw a crowd he 
needs only toi give something good to eat and drink. 


Though always a busy man, and boy too, rarely was I 
so engaged but that I could stop to admire a rose and smell 
its perfume or linger around a bed of flowers, listen to good 
singing, stop to play with the children, eat a red apple or 
listen to a good story if briefly and pointedly told, and I have 
flattered myself that the best people I ever knew were made 
and constructed along on the same lines and after the same 

The stories of the war will live forever and as long as 
a. noble race of people lives to honor the earth. Near Gren- 
ada, Mississippi, lived a planter, whom we will call Rice, 
but that was not his name. He was a tax-and-debt-paying, 
good, noble citizen, — there are a number of such in Mississippi. 
The Confederates had taken the first nibbling at his chickens, 
ducks and geese. Then came the Federals, when his niggers 
flew away and left his many cabins vacant, and they took, 
without permission, of course, what the Confederates had left 
and went into his smoke-house and took all that there was 
in there, and then burnt up all o>f his fences, etc. After 
the main army had moved on a company of Wisconsin troops 
came up. 

The old gentleman and his wife were sitting on their porch, 
or veranda, as some prefer to call it. The troopers asked, 
"What chance is there for us to get something to* eat here?" 

To which the old gentleman replied : "First my own peo- 
ple took nearly all and then you 3 wis came along and all my nig- 
gers left, and yous took my cows and my mules and my horses 
and went into my smoke-house and took all that I had there, 
and then yous went into my storehouse and took all I had there, 



and then yous burnt all my fences, and here me and my old 
wife are left alone without a morsel to eat or a soul on earth 
to administer to our wants and to bring us consolation, and 
God only knows what may befall us before night." But rais- 
ing up in his chair he said : "Thank God, you can't take away 
from us our hopes of everlasting salvation!" 

To which the Federal replied: "Just hold on, old gent, 
the Thirteenth Maine is right behind us !" 

This was Neal Dow's temperance regiment that left their 
slimy trail wherever they crawled through the South. They 
delighted in taking the ivory keyboards off the pianos they 
found in the 'Southern residences, and finger rings off the 
ladies' hands and ear-rings out of their ears, and other sim- 
ilar little light-weight things which would sell for a good price. 
They were of the sort that "carpet-baggers" were made of and 
were good associates and companions to our Southern "scalla- 

I had much experience with the "carpet-baggers" and, as 
my reader must know from my past remarks, with the "scalla- 
wag" as well. Looking back to the same from this distance, 
I having had a watchful eye on all of them, I am free to say 
that I never knew one of either who was not a liar, a thief and 
a hypocrite, and in the interest of public welfare, and if an 
executive of the great Government, did I have the power, I 
would have wiped from the face of the earth the last vestige of 
both. I would have made it a criminal offense for any one to 
have mentioned their names afterwards. 

My mother gave me early in life a guide, which has gov- 
erned me largely through life. It was : "Justice and judg- 
ment are more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifices." 

And another : "Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, and 
I will repay." 

I have always aimed to do justice and differentiate in favor 
of the public, and it would have been but justice to the people 


to have ended the existence of such a' brood of "hellions" as 
were all "carpet-baggers" and "scallawags." 

And again, always considering myself — though a light- 
weight — a servant of the Lord here on earth, as such I was 
always up in arms to play a part in the vengeance question, 
and always in the name of the great I Am, for it is one of 
my cardinal beliefs that a good citizen should ever be ready to 
execute good laws, not only of the land but of morality. 

I was once called upon to make an anti-secession speech, 
and that man who had the credit of firing the first gun on Fort 
Sumter was the orator of the day, at a Democratic barbecue. 
I argued that if each State had a right to draw out of the 
Union, then each district in the State had a right to withdraw 
from the county, and the county in turn from the district, 
and the precinct in turn from the county, and finally the in- 
dividual from the precinct, and thus we would have no govern- 
ment or society and become savage pagans. 

Wigfall replying, pointed to an old secession slave-holder, 
who never had paid an honest debt and never was accused o>f 
doing an honest act, and asked him if. he needed law or govern- 
ment, and was he not able to protect himself? Such I have 
always found ruled all communities where no law or order 

The preacher in Leadville, Colorado, when that city was in 
the hands of a murderous, thieving mob, thought that he would 
preach from the text, his own coining, "God's need of men." 
I had in my charge an O. S. P., a pillar of the church in his 
town and I showed him the notice. He declared that the man 
ought to be run out of town, that the proposition was sacrileg- 
ious, worse than profanity, it was contrary to all orthodoxy. 

I told him that I was going to hear that sermon and that 
he would go along with me — I knew he would, because he was 
afraid to stay with himself. That preacher was going to tell 
us just exactly what was needed. Mr. C went with me. 


The church was crowded. The sermon was a success and my 

old friend C rushed through the crowd to congratulate the 

minister, who had made it so clear to the people that had come 
to his church that God needed men in Leadville just then more 
than in any other spot on earth. From this sermon in less than 
forty-eight hours a vigilance committee was formed, and in less 
than forty-eight hours more nearly one thousand of the worst 
characters who had ever flocked to a mining camp "hoofed it" 
over the ten thousand five hundred foot elevation of a moun- 
tain to other places. 

This Lewis T. Wigfall, referred to above (who, Sam Hous- 
ton said, was in such haste to get out of Arkansas that he 
sunk the books of a bank in which he was interested in White 
River) on this occasion quoted from a speech that William H. 
Seward of New York had made in the United States Senate, 
replying to what some "fire eater" had said as to there not 
being any coercive power in the Constitution of the United 
States by which the Southern States could be whipped back 
into the Union, to which Seward replied, "If there be no such 
law, then we will appeal unto a higher law!" 

It was then and there that I became a great believer in and 
friend of the people who were oppressed, a believer of an 
appeal unto a higher law. It is what we are trying to do all 
the while, and when the laws of our country, or rather their 
execution by the office-seeker, office-holder, public crib pauper, 
fails in execution, then should the community appeal unto a 
higher law. 

Be it unto "the court arms" or be it in solemn compact to 
stand each by the other through weal or woe in punishing 
crime or wreaking vengeance on the perpetrators of crime and 
the violators of the most sacred laws and rights of the people. 

I sometimes think that there are about as many criminals 
holding office in some States of the United States as there are 
violators of the law in the penitentiary, and I have never 


expressed this opinion publicly but that it received warm accla- 
mation. I was once horrified by the proposition in effect that 
"there are more people who pray for an appetite to eat some- 
thing than there are who pray for something to eat." 

Then I was a hale, hearty young man and knew not what 
derangements of the digestive organs, either by dyspepsia or 
from middle age or old age could be brought about. 

Another proposition which horrified me was that it was 
much easier to corrupt a judge of the Supreme Court by 
bribery than it would be to bribe a newly elected or appointed 
justice of the peace; that it was more easy to reach a United 
States Congressman and yet easier a United States Senator 
than it was to reach a newly elected State Legislator or 

I never lost sight of these propositions, and after years of 
experience in nearly all sorts of callings and business and with 
a personal acquaintance second to no man in the Union among 
politicians as well as the common people, millionaires and 
others, the propositions are not SO' horrifying as when I was a 
boy, when, being sincere and honest myself, I so considered 
everybody else. 

I have had dealings with people, a great number of them, 
who* were incorruptible — 'people beyond a price, who were 
honest in all they did and thought. Yet many of these were 
wrong in no inconsiderable part of their thoughts. They were 
right in that they would have died for their beliefs. Such 
men are to be respected, honored and revered. They are more 
plentiful in some countries than in others. I have never heard 
of one living in Spain or Mexico', excepting it was on the ques- 
tion Of religion, solid Roman Catholic. The Anglo-Saxon 
race produces more of them than -all the other races on the 
earth combined, and it is therefore that we are ruling the 
world, and as our sphere o»f usefulness becomes larger and 
larger by our ever expanding, there will be more and more 


demand for upper-case, truthful, honorable, noble, just men, 
and women too, for "she who rocks the cradle rules the world," 
but it is not she who* rocks it through a wet nurse or a kinder- 
garten, but the mother who 1 was raised by a mother and there- 
fore knows how to raise men, manly men, men who> will never 
spell their middle names out or part their hair in the middle or 
spend hours before a glass like a Miss Nancy dressing and 
primping to catch the eye, men who aspire to go higher and 
shed more light on the world and make it possible for more 
to> ascend higher on the scale of human greatness. 

Our country today has more calls for men of this class 
than before. While we are sending school teachers out to the 
Philippines and to San Domingo, and those whom we are send- 
ing may be able to answer back in the course of an age or two 
whether the "Constitution follows the flag" or not, if the 
teachers whom we are sending as aids of our Government to 
teach the people the good Anglo-Saxon three R's, law and 
order are doing this, they are doing much better than our 
religious denominations have done in ninety cases out of one 
hundred in sending out their missionaries to pagan lands. If 
they are not, they had better be recalled and another army 
of soldiers sent there who will execute the demands of the 
age, which as I read them will eradicate all ignorance, super- 
stition, barbarous paganism and deviltry or meanness, and 
clear the face of the earth for a higher and better people. 
as was done by the founders of this great Government. 

In the next fifty years the goody-goody element in the 
United States will be counted with the things that have passed 
beyond recall, and, like the blue laws of our Puritanic New 
Englanders of old, be pointed to with "was it possible?" 

One in this enlightened age and day can read over these 
New England blue laws but to question the sanity of the people 
or to doubt their leaders' accursed hypocrisy; one of the two 


always follows. Yet those laws, brutal as they were, evolved 
into the better and more just ones. 

The goody-goody people of the period in which lived 
better than thou element of part-the-hair-on-the-side women 
and in the middle men have been a great schooling for the 
thinking people. The thoughts they are thinking are fast 
evolving into practical shape, as may be seen by any observ- 
ing, intelligent citizen in the organization of civic federations 
and similar Societes and Associations all over our land wherein 
no office-seeking hypocrite can become a member, but only men, 
tax and debt payers, people who ever stand ready for better 
and more honest government but who> could not be induced 
to run for office. 

Men who pledge one and each to> the other to ferret out, 
expose and oppose and by word and deed, and money as well, 
defeat the unworthy place-seeking men or party ; to expose the 
past history and record of all the bribe-takers and boodlers and 
grey wolves and grafters — these associations and clubs are 
being formed all over the land, and it will not be many years 
before the false teacher and preacher and foxy, crafty poli- 
tician will no* longer live at the public crib, and honest laws 
will be enacted and dishonest ones will be repealed, and the 
judge on the bench will decide by them and not from and by 
the influence and bribes that he may have received before he 
was elected by corporations. 

What chance has any honest litigant in any court before 
any judge who, before being nominated for the office — which 
pays a salary of five thousand dollars a year — was required to 
pay twenty-five hundred dollars to his party ringsters for a 
nomination, party slush fund, then after his nomination five 
thousand more to the party managers to be divided out among 
the local bosses, and they in turn to the gin-mills for booze? 
Then on top of this an additional and in advance ten per cent 


of his first two years' salary, one-half for the State party or- 
ganization and the other half for the National party? 

My readers must not say that it was only Democrats who 
did this, or only Republicans, for there is not a man who reads 
this book so accursed ignorant as not to know that the worst 
trust in the United States is the trust which was formed and 
exists between the party managers, who get together to formu- 
late their plans to plunder the people. Could any one expect 
to go before this judge and get honesty in any case against 
a corporation or concern which had furnished him the money 
to> pay those different assessments ? 

The delay in the execution of the laws is the greatest of 
crimes. The judges are responsible for this more than the 
lawyers are who come before him. All judges are lawyers, 
but not all lawyers are thieves or rascals. Those who* are not 
never hold office, but are in the employ of rich people and cor- 
porations who employ them to watch their interests and keep 
them from harm or trouble. 

I know several lawyers who receive from twenty-five to 
one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars a year salary as 
chief counsel who earn their salary several times over each 
year. This may sound strange to some people and especially 
to those whoi know little of commerce or trade and its im- 

If I were to state here the amount of dollars earned per 
mile by the railroads of the United States, the man who thinks 
that he is doing a. big business in picking berries to pick the 
little ones and the rotten ones first and put them in the bottom 
of the basket, and then the big ones on the top, would say that 
I was prevaricating. The figures would astonish even thous- 
ands who are engaged in commercial pursuits. Go> inquire for 
yourself, by writing to the editor of your best paper and ask 
him: i. How many miles of railroad are there in the United 


States ? 2. What are the average gross receipts per mile per 

The intelligence of the average men of the United States is 
very small indeed as compared with the volume of business 
done therein. If you would, see how little the man of average 
intelligence knows about the commerce of the United States, 
propound this sort of a question to any of your acquaintances. 
Start out by asking him if he knows anything about the Suez 
Canal, which connects the Mediterranean Sea (near where 
Moses played an early Yankee trick on a Mr. Pharaoh for hav- 
ing made his people make brick without straw) and of the 
wonderful commerce that must naturally pass through it be- 
tween the Orient and the: West. 

Then ask him if he has any knowledge of the Soo Canal 
which connects Lake Superior with Lake Huron. 

Be sure now to get your man to decide that he has a knowl- 
edge of these canals. Aid him to a better knowledge by show- 
ing him the map of the countries and then ask him point blank 
what he would suppose the relative tonnage that passes 
through these two» would be, and considering that the Soo 
Canal was only open to navigation five months of the year, 
while the Suez is open the year round. Have him commit 
himself well so that he can't go back on his knowledge when he 
gets wise. 

Then ask him' as to the relative value of this tonnage each 
and every year. After getting answers from a few of your 
best informed people then sit down and write to some editor 
and propound the questions to him and don't be surprised if 
the answer comes back that the tonnage of the Soo Canal is ten 
times greater, though much less than half the time in use, and 
that its value was twenty times greater and that the ratio was 
growing more and more every year. 

It is possible for men who begin to think themselves old to 
live to see such a revolution in the politics of our country 


brought about by such influences as I have cited, that the courts 
of our country will not have one- tenth to> attend to that they 
have now, and that bribery and wrong will never be heard of 

The age may be upon us when all of our best captains of 
industry and of every interest of man, will think in the direc- 
tion of better government, of a. more honest execution of the 
laws, and it is the belief of many that taxation may be reduced 
one-half or even more. 

In my day I have heard much of "civil service," which is 
labeled in some way in my mind as "civil robbery." It was a 
"carpet-bag" scheme to keep in office their accursed villains 
down South and afterwards played up North to* keep old sol- 
diers in good jobs at the expense of the taxpayer. The reason 
why the South is so badly governed and cursed in its gov- 
ernment is more largely from the fact that it has but one party 
than from any other cause that I know. Where two parties 
exist in any state or community, one watching the other, cor- 
ruption never enters until the party trust is formed as referred 
to before. Since the party trusts were formed, the man of 
affairs has found that general corruption ensued, and unless the 
taxpayer and the business man organized the self-protecting 
associations and vigilance committees the country was doomed. 


Lord Chesterfield was applied to by Dr. Johnson, the first 
Englishman to think of making a dictionary, asking the Lord 
to patronize him, in other words to aid him financially. Lord 
Chesterfield turned him down sharply. Dr. Johnson went on 
with his work and in a short time was able to* present to* the 
public proof sheets of his great and master work. He sent 
one to Chesterfield, who* promptly wrote to him — now that he 
saw it was a success — that he would be pleased to> aid him, 
and intimated that he might dedicate the work to him, the 
aforesaid Chesterfield, the leader of the four hundred of Eng- 
land at that time. 

Dr. Johnson promptly replied to> him in substance : 

"Dear Sir: (It is said that he did not even call him 'Dear 
Lord' ) when I needed you, you did not patronize me. Now I 
don't need you, and you shall not patronize me nor I you!" 

When I started out in the world for myself and needed 
patronage, aid and assistance, none was given me, and but for 
that possibly I might have been as no' account to> myself and 
the world as the tens and tens of thousands that I have passed 
on the road in my journey through life have proved to be. 

I have often found myself in a condition that it was more 
pleasant and decidedly more profitable for me to fight my own 
battles and way through, than it was to bribe or feed my way 
through the army of leeches, dead-beats and villains that stood 
before me ready either to> oppose or applaud just as the wind 
blew and pay was in it for them. 

In the sense the word is usually used I never was a; poli- 
tician. Being an American born, a descendant from a noble 
stock of grand government founders, I am a politician, and 



especially on National affairs and questions of importance, and 
no) one has ever accused me of being cowardly or in any way 
backward about expressing my honest American opinion on 
any and all subjects — excepting at the time I was being han- 
dled by the Secession Committee of Public Safety down in Fort 
Bend County, Texas. Then I did not show the white feather, 
but played the part of a dissembler ; not that I had one drop of 
abolitionist blood in my veins, but that I hated their methods 
as much as I hated the men themselves and a thousand times 
more than I hated the abolition cause. 

I had been called upon often to take the lead in perilous, 
doubtful and very dangerous undertakings, and I have more 
often declined than accepted ; the latter only when I was satis- 
fied in my own mind that the people who came to me were as 
honest and would prove themselves as brave as I was and 
might prove myself, when the time of trial came. 

I never yet have lost a cause, a move or measure that I have 
championed and was the leader of or in, and I can truthfully 
say, defying contradiction, that I never yet financed a great 
undertaking but that it resulted in success, save and excepting 
when the acts of God interfered and prevented or the acts of a 
set of hypocrites and confidence men betrayed. 

My name has been connected with many gigantic enter- 
prises in all sections of the Western and Southern portions of 
the Union, and but for the absolute necessity of my having to 
play dummy like and remain in the rear and not come to the 
front myself, I might have been more extensively known than 
I am. There are but few localities in the United States but 
where I have been tolerably well known for the last many 
years, and in quite a number of them I am glad to know that I 
have been known and talked of and preached about as being 
quite a different man to what the majority of people in that 
locality were. 

My life has been an open book, the pages of which have 


been filled with honest effort, indefatigable energy and indus- 
try, and not like the finger-board on the roadside, always point- 
ing, but never going. 

An editor of a Texas paper, who was afterwards elected 
to the State Senate and then to a judgeship in his district 
called me the ''indefatigable and irrepressible T. N." Had he 
lived he might have gone higher, for he always served me 
nobly and met the people's wants most grandly. 

It was "Beast Butler" of New Orleans who said that: "The 
people had called him everything but a fool." 

I might say that I have been called everything in turn by 
people, and that I have been called a fool too, and it was then 
that I made the most money, for I have never made money out 
of any man that thought I was smarter than he, or in other 
words, thought that I was too smart for him to deal with. 

I never made a horse trade — I have bought and sold many 
horses — and I never got the better of a jockey only as he 
thought that I was a "know nothing" regarding horse flesh. 

In my day I have heard much about "worthy people" and 
especially about the "worthy poor." I early set in life as a 
rule that nothing was worth more than it would bring. When 
one talks to me about "worthy people," I ask, What is their 
worth? What has been their worth? What have they done 
to contribute to the wealth and worth of the world?. Have 
they been industrious ? Honest ? Have they brought joy and 
gladness to any ? Have they paid their debts ? Have they be- 
come of little value by reasons of wear, as gold pieces and 
silver pieces will become? Then, if yes, they are worthy; but 
if they are rusty from disuse, if they have done no one good, 
if they have not improved, beautified and advanced the world 
and made efforts to> make two blades grow where one formerly 
grew, then let them go "over the hill to the poorhouse" and see 
that no honest taxpayer is required to pay for more than very 
cheap rations for them, 


The cry of "pity the poor and aid the needy and distressed," 
in about ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, is a cry emanating 
from an accursed multi faced hypocrite, who is working the 
people, being too lazy to work him or herself, office-seeking, 
public crib-feed politician like. 

I at one time had a large business in the City of Chicago 
(and I never lost interest in anything that is or was good), 
and there, as everywhere else that I had lived, it soon got out 
that I was "easy to work," that I was a "shining mark," that 
I was "a soft snap," and in a very short time the dead-beats 
and the paupers and the beggars and the liars and the thieves 
and the hypocrites and the confidence men commenced coming 
in great numbers and it being good old Democratic hard times 
there was considerable excuse for such conditions. 

I provided myself with a rock crusher, turned by hand, for 
the able bodied, and other contrivances for the less able, and I 
gave employment and work to every caller, and I made them 
earn all they got from me, and in a very short time there were 
but few that came around me, and those that stayed around me 
were o-f the "worthy poor and needy," and I provided for them 
and aided them and I am happy today to know that I can point 
out not just one or two but many, who are today in good cir- 
cumstances, that I aided to an honest living, and when they 
were being chased by hungry wolves my cable-tow pulled them 
away from the hungry beasts' grab. 

I am no more of an enemy to charitable institutions than I 
am to foreign missionary societies, and I am not half so great 
an enemy to these as would be ninety per cent of my fellow 
men who know as much about them as I do and who have come 
across and in contact with them not only here at home but in 
foreign countries. 

I often think of "John Randolph of Roanoke," whose his- 
tory and record should be known by every American, and is if 
that American is worthy of citizenship. Mr. Randolph was a 


great admirer of fine horses (I never knew a good and noble 
man who did not love women and horses, and too often good 
wine). He was at a race when Smith came up to him and 

"Mr. Randolph, you want to bet on the brown horse; I'll 
bet on the black, and my friend Jones will hold the stakes." 

Mr. Randolph looked around, first at Smith and then at 
Jones, and then asked : 

"Who in — will hold your friend Jones?" Who holds 
the missionaries and the collectors for the poor the worthy 
poor ? 

I know that many of my readers will object to the dashes 
I use in recording the correspondence and conversations with 
many people. An old Methodist preacher down in Texas 
refused to have anything further to do> with me and my cause 
because the printer accidentally put in a long half inch dash 
instead of a word and that old preacher said that I meant to 
say "damn it." The world is full of his sort, who* judge all 
by themselves, and whose mind is so full of guile and evil that 
it is but natural for them to think ditto of all others. 

I was happy to know always afterward during my life 
that the old preacher lost more than I did and that through the 
negligence of the printer for once in life I lost but very little 
as compared with what I would have lost had he put in the 
two proper words instead of a long dash. 

I was once called upon to introduce to an audience a man 
whom the world knows only in part and to> whom I have been 
frequently likened and compared. I refer to the late George 
Francis Train. I have been considered a good toast-master 
by people who have not come across better, as I have. 

After introducing my friend and making as much of a 
panegyric as I could, he told them in substance that when he 
was a baby his mother died leaving him to be reared by his 
old grandmother, a New Englander of Puritanical descent 


who was so straight up that she leaned back a little, very 
religious and very exacting. She thought too much of George 
to send him to the little "red schoolhouse," but employed a 
governess, who taught him all there was to be taught from, 
in and out of that great American educational work that I 
have heretofore referred to, "The Webster Elementary Spell- 
ing book," after which George had a preceptor and a tutor 
imported from New York, sent by the old lady's commission 
merchant, who attended to the receiving of and the selling of 
her San Domingo sugar and rum, and no> doubt slaves from 
Africa in her earlier life. 

This man was a thorough up-to-date "all-rounder," the 
best that Train had ever seen in all his life. He was a first- 
class hypocrite and made the old lady believe that he was a 
Christian perse, rather than a Pharisee. 

This good grandmother told George, and that with the full 
consent and approval of the "all-rounder," that if he wanted 
to be a good man and a great man like George Washington 
and Clay and Webster and Otis and all the other great men 
who were then prominent before the American people, he must 
not use tobacco, chew or smoke, that he must not drink 
whisky, rum, wine or beer, that he must not use any cuss 
words, that he must not play cards or know one from the 
other, that he must go to church every Sunday, and that he 
must at all times conform to the customs and nabits of the 
old lady's ideas and ideals, etc. 

All of which young George took in as Bible truths. When 
he arrived at the age of. eighteen his grandmother thought 
that it was time for him to go out and see the world and get 
in touch with those great men, and he was fitted out in a 
style befitting his position and standing with the world as 
being, and as he was, the wealthiest heir on the American 
continent. Vanderbilts were not in it at that time, nor were 
there any Rockefellers. 


His guide, conductor, educator and pilot the "all-rounder" 
was at home on this sort of a trip, and George said that there 
was nothing that so surprised him as to find out when he got 
to Washington that not a single one of these great men that 
his grandmother had held up to him but what chewed, and 
smoked and drank whisky and used all sorts of patent cuss 
words, gambled and got drunk and did everything that his 
grandmother told him great men never did. 

My experience with the world has been just about the 
same as was Mr. Train's. I never pained my old mother by 
telling her that she knew nothing about the world and what 
sort of people the so-called great people of the world were, 
both as respects their habits, religion and morals. 

The young man who starts out in this world thinking that 
the people elsewhere and everywhere else are any better than 
those of his own community will be greatly disappointed, and 
his disappointment will be in proportion as to> how honest and 
great and noble he was esteemed and thought of in his birth- 
place. Often I have thought that most young men failed in 
making a success of life from having gotten off on the wrong 
track in this respect. 

Never have I seen a young man who amounted to much 
in this world but whose father, or the one responsible for his 
raising, had taken great pains in showing him the world and 
all therein just as it was, and when he went out for himself 
he found that his parents or guardians had not lied to- him, 
but had told him the truth, and therefore he lived to honor 
and respect them. 

A gentleman who owned a fine rig, had a beautiful woman 
for a wife, and a three-year-old boy. They had been promis- 
ing the boy, "Well, the next time we will take you, Bob," 
over and again. One morning they made the same promise 
and drove off, when the boy said to the nurse : 

"There goes two of the biggest liars that ever lived." 


Nothing that that father or mother could ever do for that 
boy could change his first impressions, which, as all must 
know, are the impressions that follow us through life. 

We need have no fears of the boy not being able to hold 
his own and bring honor to his family and name who has 
been properly raised, but we could have all sorts of fears, in 
fact know of the bad future in store for the boy who has been 
falsely raised, that in his, education he had been deceived by 
parents or teachers who concealed the truth and falsified and 
discolored facts. 

We know that an old adage says : "As the twig is bent 
so> will the tree incline," but if the twig is bent against the 
high and prevailing winds that it will have to grow against, 
one will always be safe in knowing that the tree will grow in 
an opposite lean from the way it was planted. 

I think that it was from viewing these facts that some 
sage originated the saying: "The road to hell is paved with 
good intentions." 

Had I taken the best advice that was ever given me, many 
times I would have gone to ruin in a jiffy. 

The father and mother of a little four-year-old girl of my 
acquaintance, who had been very careful in her associations 
were horrified to hear her using the very worst of bad 
boy's street slang phrases and could not account for it. It was 
in the air — "The bed bug has no wings at all but it gets there 
just the same." 

The Vendome Column in Paris, which was being con- 
structed for three hundred years, costing millions and millions 
and representing all that was noble, grand and magnificent of 
the French people and of France, was utterly destroyed by an 
anarchist of the Cummune order and at a less expenditure for 
dynamite than it would cost to get a satisfying dinner for one 
person in the dining-car of this train, and still there are people 
who prate about their religion and who are of the "better than 


thou" class who will say they pray for such and will carry 
roses to the murderers in our jails. 

We may plan and we may plant and plow and toil, and we 
may garner great harvests and in the garner all the fruits of 
a year's toil, labor and great money outlay may be found, yet 
a playing urchin with a friction match may destroy all, and 
that too not intentionally. Eternal vigilance is no more the 
price of liberty than it is of wealth. 

Water never runs up stream, nor do straws fly against the 
wind, and no man need expect profit and reward from any sort 
of dissipation or neglect of duties. 

The commercial agencies report that there are only three 
successes out of one hundred starts in commercial life. This 
can be read as to say that in one hundred efforts that we may 
make to rise we must expect to be knocked down ninety-seven 
times. Thus it is only the brave and persistent who succeed. 
It is not the number of times that one is knocked down that 
makes the man, but the number of times he gets up. 

I have many acquaintances in this world who would have 
been surrounded with wealth in their old age if that wealth 
could have been acquired by a few days', a few weeks' or even 
a few months' hard, patient toil, economy and thought, but the 
idea of years and years of such made their hearts sick. It is 
very possible that a greater per cent of failures than has been 
estimated would be true if we all knew what was in store for 
us. That hope deferred maketh the heart sick no one can 
doubt but it is only from ever hoping, ever striving and look- 
ing for a reward from a source we know not whence it cometh, 
for duty well done and a life justly lived that success comes. 

The one who upon rising in the morning shakes hands with 
the devil first of all other acts need expect but little else but 
devilish deeds all day. It calls for a brave heart and a strong 
will to refuse this shake, for when saints are asleep the devil 
is around seeking for the early bird, who is often caught by 

iq8 a few foundation principles. 

him instead of the early bird catching the worm. The devil 
very often catches the early bird, but more often the late one. 

When only a boy I was asked by an elder one morning to 
take a drink with him. My reply was : 

"I make it a rule not to shake hands with the devil the first 
thing I do upon getting up in the morning." 

We walked on and he did not take a drink. Fates and 
fortunes of war separated me from this young man, and I had 
lost all sight of him for thirty-five years, when we came to- 
gether in a foreign city where he was traveling with his wife 
and family. He made himself known to> me and after intro- 
ducing me to not only his family but the friends who were trav- 
eling with him, said, pointing to me : 

"All this and all that I am and possess on this earth I owe 
to him." 

He then told the circumstance and place and said that from 
not shaking hands with the devil the first thing in the morn- 
ing in the way of taking a "cocktail" or some other "bracer" he 
had become the man that he was. 

I would not have my reader believe that I am a goody- 
goody man from having preached this little sermon, for I am 
like the professor of medicine before his graduating class. He 
was asked by one of the young students : 

"Professor, you have told us about this 'pathy and that 
'pathy and all the different 'pathies, now will you tell us what 
'pathy to use to cure ?" 

The professor looked up, and laying down his specs on the 
table said: 

"Young men, never undertake to drive a tack with a sledge 
hammer, never undertake to drive a spike with a tack hammer, 
but when you come up against a case that is perplexing use 
anything from an aurora borealis to hell's blazes." 

It has not been seldom in my day that I have been compelled 
to paint the air so blue a buzzard could not fly in it, and fill it 



with fumies that a saint could not live in, in order to get rid 
oif devils and bring about a harmonious and profitable adjust- 
ment of affairs. 

I have found through life, not only from my own per- 
sonal experience, but that from all others whose confidence and 
business relations I have found worthy of cultivating, that 
the honest, outspoken, candid, correct, but positive man who 
never deviates from the truth, though he may see many oppor- 
tunities where by lying he could make a "pretty penny," is the 
man who succeeds* in life; he is the man who sleeps well at 
night, has good neighbors and is the man who is always pre- 
pared to do a good turn for another. 

My life has not been the success it might have been had my 
sympathies for the poor and unfortunate been less than they 
were. I have spent too much time and hard-earned money 
trying to do the impossible thing with that class of people who 
are on the beg, the sponge and the dead-beat. 

The impossible things are the impossible, and here comes in 
my good old Webster, Spelling Book words I referred to early 
in this volume of "incompatibility" and "incomprehensibility." 

My mother was a devout woman, as has been before re- 
lated. I had two marriageable sisters. One was being ad- 
dressed by a very worthy and acceptable young man whose 
father was a "Hard-shell" Baptist preacher. Mother thought 
that it was her duty to inquire into the young man's" religious 
belief. It was about like my own, and the young man was 
feeling good, and without any idea of being impertinent or dis- 
respectful he remarked that "there are some things impossible 
to God Almighty." 

The old lady drew back in amazement and was too awe- 
struck to think of making a reply and the young man continued 
and said : 

"Now, how would He go about making two* mountains 
without having a valley between?" 


This "cooked the young man's goose" to all intents and 

There are other things that our Creator would not under- 
take to do. 

"Don't lose a cent on any person that won't lose a cent on 


The agricultural industry was never patronized until Sir 
Robert Peel, the great artist and painter, took hold of it, and it 
is said that he got his tenants and farm hands iron plows. 
After an absence of a few months he returned to his estate, to 
find that the peasants had thrown all the plows under the hedge 
and had used none of them, but had planted the crops with 
the old-way forked stick for a plow, and as do the pagans and 
the dark-age people in all other lands and countries yet. 

He called up his foreman and asked for an explanation, 
which was given in a series of resolutions adopted by his ten- 
ants in suostance setting forth that: 

"Whereas, We, the tenants and peasants of his lord- 
ship's estate, have found that the weeds do grow more prolific 
and the crops that are planted grow less fruitful and abundant 
in ground that has been plowed by an iron plow ; 

"Therefore, Be it resolved that we will no longer use 

The facts were that the pagan fools had not used them at 
all, but had thrown them under the hedges. 

I have come across more of this sort of people in the world 
than it is possible for me to convey a correct idea of to any 
one. There are people today who are following their fathers* 
avocations — farmers, who are so absolutely ignorant of all 
the laws of plowing, planting, production, cultivating and har- 
vesting, that no one should be surprised at their disgraceful 
poverty from a free and enlightened American standpoint. 
Here these same men talk politics and religion, and they "beat 
the band." 

I am old enough to recollect the time when our shoes were 



all made on one last, rights and lefts and big and little, and 
when the cobbler taught me how to make shoes and boots 
at our old farmhouse told me that there was a Yankee inven- 
tion that made shoes rights an£ lefts I did not know what he 
was talking about. 

I am old enough to remember the time when we pulled the 
hemp and the flax that we rotted, that w r e hackled and that we 
shackled and that we spun on the old spinning wheel that oc- 
cupies the most honored place in my private office today, and 
with this home-made hand-spun flaxen thread we made our 
shoe leather thread and bristled the point from our home- 
raised hog bristles. 

I am old enough to know and to well recollect what life 
was when one suit of jeans that was woven at our home and 
cut and made by our mothers and sisters was quite good 
enough for a twelve-year-old boy for one year's wear, and 
when "drawers" had never been hard of, much less used, by 
our elders. 

I can remember when hog and hominy and corn bread with 
New Orleans molasses were luxuries. These were "the good 
old days of the past" that we often hear people croak about. 
They are the days from which the ignorant farmer and poor 
cuss referred to' above came and have not improved upon. 

When I meet a man of my age and older, and see by his 
gait that he was raised on a farm, and tell by the cut of his 
clothes that he has not only added to the world's wealth, but to 
his own advancement and power for pleasure and enjoyment, 
methinks of those good old times; but when I in traveling 
through the country of my birth pass by the places of those 
poor farmers, my very spirit revolts and my mother's religion 
somewhat goes back on me, for I see close by the old "little 
red schoolhouse" that proved of no benefit to> those poor 

In traveling in foreign parts of the world I am a close ob- 


server, and I have made it a rule through life that when I ar- 
rive at a new town or city, even in my own country, but espe- 
cially in foreign lands, to rise early — at four or five a. m. — and 
go direct to the market place, where I see brought for sale by 
the farmers, horticulturists and hucksters the best the country 
can produce, and a glance tells me what sort of people that 
country produces. 

It was a Frenchman who said : "Show me the songs of a 
people and I will tell you who> and what they are." 

I need only to be told of what the people live on to tell you 
what that people are, whom they are, and what they will be in 
generations to come. 

In making man God created him out of more of his most 
precious previous creations than He used in the fabrication, 
construction or make of any other animal, fish or fowl ; where- 
fore the man of God's creation requires a greater variety of 
eatables than any other animal, and just in proportion as he is 
restricted to only a few, and they possibly of the most worth- 
less in nutrition, blood, brain and brawn-giving qualities, man 
becomes degenerate and like begets like or loss in all things. 

As a farmer I was a success when it rained as much as it 
should or when it did not rain to make a flood and wash me 
out. As a merchant I was a success because I never lied to the 
people and told them that I was selling goods below cost. I 
have never found it necessary, as I have found it the case with 
so many others, to tell a lie and continuously lie to sell my 
goods, and I have often thought that it was because my goods 
were always good goods and the people knew good from bad. 
The "want-something-for-nothing" man is a poor wretch who 
never is able to pay his debts and who never wears a suit of 
good clothes or in any way seems at ease or to have comfort 
and never enjoys ife. 

That "all things come to him who waits" is as true as 
Holy Writ, but most people are too impatient. I can tell as 


many good fish stories as any man, but I never made a good 
fisherman; my patience would not admit of it. I like to act 
the host and have my friends dine with me, but I never would 
have made a ''waiter." I have never waited for any one and 
never will. When one tells me he will be at a certain place at 
a certain time and is not there I set him down as a liar and 
would never trust him again for any amount or for any small 
sum. It is a fact, dispute it as you may, that a man who will 
steal a pin will steal a horse if he can only keep from being 

The man who> is a good citizen only from fear of going to 
the penitentiary is not to be depended upon any more than is 
the man who> is a good Christian only from fear of going to 
hell. There are people in the world who cannot refrain or 
keep from doing evil, as much as there are other people in this 
world who* have no desire to commit any sort of evil. The 
man who has no desire to drink whisky and get drunk or gam- 
ble or other unlawful and immoral acts is entitled to no credit 
as compared with the poor unfortunate misborn people who 
naturally incline that way. 

Men's ideas of right and wrong are at great variance, and 
he who sets himself up to be the judge in many matters that 
would seem of trifling importance is the one who the most 
often is entitled to ridicule. 

It is the thoughts of a moment that are worth a life of toil 
and these thoughts come but once or twice in a man's lifetime, 
and it was the poet sage, and he was a poet no more than a 
sage, who declared that : 

"There is a tide in the affairs of men, 
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; 
Omitted, all the voyage of their life 
Is bound in shallows and in miseries." 

It is the impressionable man, the one who acts on first im- 


pulses and impressions, all other things being equal, that is the 
successful man. He who goes blindly at work without having 
first calculated where to put his best licks so that he can accom- 
plish the most is little better than a blind man casting about in 
a wilderness for an open field. 

When I was a young man and was striving for a start in 
the world I figured out how that when I had made my first 
thousand dollars I would be able to do something ; when I had 
made that I found that it would take ten, and the world kept 
on moving in advance of me so rapidly that when I had made 
several times that amount I found that I yet had but little to do 
with and then soon I found that it was harder to keep what I 
had made than it had been to make it, which has often made 
me think that blessed is he who hath nothing for he shall have 
nothing to lose. 

The young man of today may not have as many opportuni- 
ties to go forth and win his way in the world as I had with an 
undeveloped country before me, but he has many and better op- 
portunities, since all that I and my compeers have done, look- 
ing at it from my standpoint, has only been to make it possible 
for others to do and make more rapidly than we did. 

The man who went and opened up a home in the wilder- 
ness of the West had more to contend with than he who comes 
to* the developed West today. When I think of the men who 
came to Ohio, Michigan and Indiana with little or no means 
to attack the great forests and spend a life in opening up a 
farm, that man stands in my estimation as being a braver man 
than he was who faced an enemy on a battle-field. 

My father sold a man forty acres of land near-by where I 
was born. He had been a good, faithful laborer and the 
"forty" was heavily timbered. Davis bought him an ax and 
started out one morning to slash a ten-acre tract and worked 
manfully for a day or two, when he came back and rescinded 
the deal, saying that there was an easier life for him than to 


spend it in cutting clown a forest and clearing it up and wait- 
ing for years to roll by before he opened up a farm. That 
man had an idea, he carried it out, and with only a few dollars 
in his pocket started to the prairies of the West, where all he 
had to do was to plow and plant and without fencing, much 
less clearing off the ground, grow a crop the first year which 
brought him returns. He was a thinker and an actor on first 
principles, thoughts and inspirations. 

After having planted his twenty acres in corn he planted 
it all down in pumpkins. His farm was twenty miles from 
what is now the great city of Chicago, that was then booming 
He hired a team and wagon and hauled his pumpkins to mar- 
ket, realizing enough therefrom to pay for the one hundred 
and sixty acres that he had bought. He sold his corn in the 
field and bought more ground, and instead of planting it in 
pumpkins, as all of his neighbors did, from seeing what he had 
done, he sowed a large proportion of it to turnips and nearly 
an acre in onions. He hauled his turnips and more than five 
hundred bushels of onions off the land, which sold at great 
prices in Chicago, and with the proceeds bought more ground. 
He sold the corn, as he had done the year before, in the field. 
His neighbors who had planted pumpkins so glutted the market 
that they brought nothing, and he hauled them off their 
ground, paying next to nothing for them, and hired the people 
to help him turn their pumpkins into pumpkin butter, and he 
made another fortune out of their misfortune. The next year 
many of them sowed onions and turnips as he had the year be- 
fore. The turnips did well but the onion crop failed. The 
turnips brought nothing, while this Mr. Davis had planted all 
of his ground in the castor oil beans and flax, both of which 
were a success and sold at a large price, which enabled him 
to buy more ground, but further west where ground was 
cheaper. He was a leader; he thought and never followed 
other people. 


He finally went into the hog business, and of course his 
neighbors all followed him as fast as they could get hogs to 
raise from, but he always had a superior and better breed of 
hogs, which always brought a superior and better price, and 
finally when he got all the people to raising hogs he went into 
the pork packing business and found that still more profitable 
than either raising pumpkins, turnips, onions or hogs to sell to 
his neighbors for breeding purposes. 

Davis went to California and engaged in the gold wash- 
ing business. He soon found that he could make more money 
selling the gold washers "horn spoons," and he went into the 
"horn spoon" business, having previously bought up all the 
horns there was in the country, and in a few years' time came 
back East, where he largely increased his pork packing facili- 
ties and soon became a beef packer. Davis died a multi- 
millionaire, leaving behind him a family who had about all of 
their father's leading characteristics in their make-up. 

Now had Davis worked out his original purpose of mak- 
ing a farm on the forty acres of timber land in Michigan, he 
never would have contributed to this world's great advance- 
ment; he never would have been able to have promoted the 
building of railroads and the upbuilding of the country gen- 
erally. Now this man's name was not Davis, but a rose, as all 
know, would smell just as sweet under another name. 

My father sold a forty-acre tract to another man, whom 
we will call Jackson, but that was not his name. Jackson mar- 
ried and with the aid of his neighbors and friends who came 
to his "log rollings" and "house raisings" managed to piece out 
a living. He worked from "early morning until dewy eve" 
and at fifty was a broken-down old man, though he owned a 
half section of good farm land. He died only a few years 
ago, leaving behind neither "kith nor kin," but a property 
worth enough to make three smart lawyers comfortably well 
off from the litigation that distant relatives brought about try- 


ing to get "something for nothing." The lawyers did the 
thinking; it was the other fellows who did the fighting and 
got nothing for it. 

This man was a much abler and smarter man than my so- 
called Davis was, and the difference between him and Davis 
was in that the latter improved on the thoughts of a moment 
and allowed no one to be his monitor or director. 

I knew another man, while I was yet a boy and had not 
been to P. T. Barnum's show, referred to in a previous chapter, 
whom I one day met going to my father's house to borrow 
forty dollars to pay a note due on goods which he had bought, 
who, not knowing me, asked the way to our house. I looked 
him over and thought to myself, "Would I ever be rich enough 
to wear such fine store clothes and own such a horse and such 
a buggy and wear a watch like he did?" It was a steel chain 
on the outside that showed, worth now about ten cents a yard. 

This man had a store in our town and was on his last legs. 
He came from somewhere in York State and insisted upon 
stocking up his store with goods that were not in demand 
among the people in our section at that time. His stock of 
ribbon and finery was greater than his stock of substantial nec- 
essaries. He went into the insurance business and became 
an agent for the steamboats and the keel boats, and for many 
years had hard work making ends or buckle-and-tongue meet. 
By some accident — for it was not by design on his part — he 
was forced to take a tract of land, that was located up in the 
Upper Peninsula, for a debt. It was represented as being 
good timber land, but timber in those days was not what it 
became in later years. 

Wilson we will call him, but that was not his name, became 
very despondent and was considered a very poor man, but he 
and his noble wife worked on and for several years just fairly 
lived, when in 1853 Russia got into trouble with Turkey, Eng- 
land and France and what other powers I now disremember, 


and the Crimean war was declared, and wheat went up from 
nothing to> two dollars and twenty-five cents per bushel, and 
everything else in proportion (I refer back now to a previous 
chapter), and the copper mines of Lake Superior were being 
worked with great success. Some geologist or prospector dis- 
covered iron ore east of the copper mines, and, as Samantha 
Allen always said, "Low and behold," Wilson's land was the 
keystone to the arch of the iron ore region of the Upper Penin- 
sula. In three years' time Wilson was a millionaire and from 
royalties on the iron ore became a multi-millionaire and died 
one of the wealthiest men in all the country round about. 

He was never noted for anything good but good luck, 
though it was a long time coming his way, but it came and it 
stayed, for the Wilson family have all proved good keepers, 
who> understand that part of the arithmetic which applies to 
addition but not to division or had any suggestion to silence. 
Not like the politician who was the author of the expression, 
"addition, division and silence," that had reference to some- 
thing that had to do with my friend, Mr. George Francis 
Train's (referred to before) "Credit Mobilier" transaction 
that built the Union Pacific and helped in at least the Central 
Pacific Railroad, which made the first great number of multi- 
millionaires in the United States. 

Now, as to which I or you had rather be, Davis, Jackson 
or Wilson, might be a question, but as to the one who did the 
greatest good and was the greatest public benefactor Wilson 
led them all, though the "Credit Mobilier" folks were world- 
beaters in their way. I will tell it in my way so that my read- 
ers will understand that I am not going to tell it as it was, for 
that would be too 1 long a story. 

These Mobilier fellows got twenty sections of land to the 
mile, much of which now cannot be bought for one hundred 
dollars an acre, and forty thousand dollars a mile first mort- 
gage bonds for building a railroad that cost only on an average 


twenty thousand dollars a mile, and there was more than one 
thousand miles of it and there was twenty thousand dollars 
clear profit in every mile they built for the purpose of "di- 
vision" and the land was all free and paid for that dividended 
up "incomprehensibly" to a peanut stand vender or the poor 
farmer I have before referred to. 

I was not fortunate enough to get into these good rich deals 
that were being made in those days, for I was so unfortunate 
as to have followed Jeff Davis down South, and was equally 
as unfortunate afterward in being fool enough to think that 
railroad building in Texas, backed by good subsidies would be 
as profitable as it was to those who crossed and then checked 
up the great middle West and North with them. 

If I have been fortunate in some few things I have been 
unfortunate in so many that at times I feel like a thirty-cent 
piece when I look back and see "what might have been." 

I became somewhat notorious down in the Lone Star State 
from having taken a great interest in legislation that was nec- 
essary to bring prosperity to my beloved land — legislation 
which looked toward the promotion of internal improvements, 
and but for drouths and overflows and storms and tornadoes 
and all else that ever befell an unfortunate man in an unfor- 
tunate country I might have been a gatherer in of the sheaves. 

I have thought more of my misfortunes and disasters than 
I have of my successes because the former left more and larger 
sore spots than the latter had been able to heal up, and now I 
must tell of one of my most sore of disasters. 

I had succeeded in accomplishing that which no other man 
or set of men had been able to accomplish, and that which all 
those I talked with thought was impossible of accomplishing 
with, by or through the Texas Legislature. The International 
Railroad had built a long line through a desolate and no-ac- 
count country that commenced at nowhere and ended at ditto. 
It had a great future before it at both ends ; it was one of my 


first-born ; it was to have received ten thousand dollar thirty- 
year eight per cent state bonds for each mile built, and it was 
contemplated to build about five thousand miles from first to 
last, for we had provided for our grandchildren to have some- 
thing to do on this mundane sphere after we had quit doing for 

This long stretch of road built through "nowhere," paying 
for possession o*f course, in order that we might build at both 
ends, we called upon the State Controller for the bonds due us 
on the hundred and more miles built. I might be sued for 
criminal libel if I were to say that there was any such thing 
as "graft" with anybody down in Texas in those days, for it 
was just after the people had somewhat gotten out of the 
clutches of the accursed carpet-baggers, nigger rule and scal- 
lawagers' control. 

The bonds were printed and taken to the Controller of the 
State, who had to certify to them, but who instead all in cm 
instant and without notice found out that the law was uncon- 
stitutional and refused to sign the bonds. The courts were ap- 
pealed to, he was served with a mandamus to do so<, and like 
St. Paul he appealed to Caesar, i. e., the Supreme Court, that 
agreed with him. How wicked it would be for me or any one 
else to say that there was any "swag" in the matter at all, but 
"alle samee" there was something doing and our one hundred 
and forty or fifty miles of railroad, built at an enormous 
expense through "nowhere," was brought to a standstill for 
the want of these bonds, to> lengthen it at both ends so that it 
might reach "somewhere." 

The Houston and Texas Central Railroad, that had been 
built on its own earnings for more than one hundred and fifty 
miles (so> the people then thought but found out years after- 
wards it was from robbing the State school fund, of which I 
shall tell hereafter, and which will make mighty interesting 
reading for some people yet alive), did not approve o>f "division 


and silence," that is, dividing up their territory with a Northern 
corporation, and I gave it as my belief then and now and will 
believe until my dying day, had seen Mr. Controller before 
we did. 

We had to go to the people and elect a new Legislature 
and also a new Governor, requiring two years' time. Before 
that Legislature met there was lots of money in the shape of 
crisp new greenback bills floated all over the State. No mat- 
ter who was the author of the scheme. I will be more happy 
no doubt in the hereafter if Beelzebub does not recognize me 
as having had something to do with it, for I had rather be on 
an ice wagon at any time than in his clutches. 

The scheme was this, that all statesmen and politicians in 
the State should be educated to the proposition that any man 
or set of men who would come into the State with ten thou- 
sand dollars would be given one section of Texas State lands 
out on the State plains "not otherwise appropriated;" for 
every ten thousand dollars he invested in any sort of internal 
improvements such as iron furnaces, copper smelters, cotton 
mills, woolen mills, refineries, and especially in digging ditches 
for navigation or irrigation purposes, and for any and for 
every other purpose that could be named, thought of or sug- 
gested. It was the two last propositions that were the draw- 
ing cards of the whole scheme. 

Besides the gift of this land they were to be exempt for 
twenty-five years from taxation of any nature whatsoever, cor- 
poration, county or State, and that the land should not be 
taxed for twenty-five years after the State had transferred it 
to the individual or company investing the money. Who 
could go back on such a proposition as that, made as it was 
by some of the best and leading Democrats in the State? 

This bill was duly introduced in the Legislature and 
referred to the Committee on Internal Improvements, but not 
before the bill was introduced praying for the relief of the 


International Railroad, which was practically the same bill 
that had given its charter and that had been the means of 
inveigling the investment of many millions of dollars in the 
State to build that one hundred and fifty miles of railroad 
from "nowhere" through "nowhere" to "nowhere," i. e., from 
Longview to Hearne. 

This bill was discussed pro and con, as was the general 
Internal Improvement bill, first one and then another, day in 
and day out, giving the "Third House" members an opportu- 
nity to get in their good work finding out the "lame ducks" 
and using a liberal mixture of adhesive plasters that were 
always green on the back but expressed big value on the face. 
Finally it came to a show-down after many resorts to "ways 
that were dark and tricks that were vain." We had two 
majority in the lower house and one majority in the upper. 
Old Beelzebub won't charge up to me all of these tricks, nor do 
I know very much of therm ; yet were I to tell what I do know, 
people yet living, in self-defense would say all sorts of bad 
things about me. 

The Governor of the State was a man above guile. He 
was a lawyer, a jurist of great ability, a man who was all 
self and never let a good opportunity pass. Our bill went 
through and it came to him for his approval. A sly foxy cuss 
whispered in the Governor's ear how to kill two birds with 
one stone, hold himself with the people by vetoing the Inter- 
national Railroad bill, which would make him O. K. with the 
"grangers," and then recommend that the Legislature give to 
the International Railroad twenty-five sections of land in solid 
blocks, not alternate blocks but solid blocks, and exempting 
the land for twenty-five years from all taxation and likewise 
exempt the railroad and its rolling stock — mind you not for 
that part already built but to include future buildings as well — 
for twenty-five years also. 


A ten-year-old schoolboy can figure out the difference 
between what we got and what we started in to get on the basis 
oif six hundred dollars per section for the land and two hun- 
dred and fifty dollars per year per mile in taxes for the road 
for twenty-five years. Texas is a great big and rich State 
and it can afford to stand all such losses as this in the interest 
of people that it tried to "repudiate" and worse than blackmail. 

A worse deal than this was the Houston and Texas Central 
Railroad borrowing from the State of Texas four and one- 
half million dollars of United States fifty-year eight per cent 
Government Bonds that had been given to the State in part, 
together with all of its lands, for a strip of wealthy country 
in the Northwest that Texas had about as much claim to as 
she had to the Northeast corner of the Kamchatka Peninsula, 
and which had been set aside as a special school fund labeled 
most sacredly and branded most fervently for the benefit of 
future born Texans, a school fund. 

The railroad folks had a clause inserted allowing them to 
pay off the bonds at any time. The war came, it charged one 
hundred dollars per mile for transporting a Confederate soldier 
and twice that amount for a horse and everything else in like 
proportion, and the reader must not think that the passenger 
and freight agents did not know their business then any 
less than they know T it now. Its earnings were immense; it 
took several carloads of these Confederate promises to redeem 
these bonds. There was only one party in Texas, 

The question of abinitio and anti-abinitio government was 
not discussed in the election first preceding the reconstruction. 
The Republican element, the carpet-baggers and the scalla- 
wagers were on the right side of the question, and that was 
enough for the Democrats, as the former had so disgraced 
themselves as to make it impossible for the people to believe 
that they would be right in anything. The Democrats started 
a friendly suit against the railroad for the bonds, and by an 


accident it was decided in the Supreme Court against the rail- 
road, who appealed it to the United States Supreme Court, 
where the case was decided after Grover Cleveland had 
appointed a Democratic Chief Justice, who* of course threw 
Texas down. 


The greatest concern of an American is the proper execu- 
tion of just and proper laws, and the American who takes no 
interest in what has passed and knows nothing of it is not a 
good citizen, cannot be, for it is only by the past that we can 
judge the future, and it is for this reason that I refer to 1 past 
history, giving a truthful account as it was and as no politician 
or bribe taking so-called statesman would give it. Why I so 
often refer to the past, my reader of old and middle age will 
more appreciate than the young man, but the time will come 
when he will view it from a different light. 

Government was inaugurated for the good of the weak, 
for their protection against the strong. If the Government 
is corrupt it comes from the fact that the people are either 
more or less so or that they are ignorant and can be swayed 
to and fro, hither and yon, just as the interest of the party- 
seeking power may demand. 

Elsewhere I have referred to the day and date I left my 
birth-place in Michigan. Three nights before that day, in 
company with several other neighbor boys, whoi were visiting 
around with me and my brother, I went to a "free nigger 
lecture" at a log schoolhouse which stands where Galien, 
Michigan, now stands. It was then a wilderness of a. forest 
thereabout. There were perhaps as many as fifty grown people 
there and as many more boys like ourselves. The white- 
headed and white-bearded negro came in, a personification of 
the "old blind Joe" of today. He went direct to business and 
I never have forgotten the first two lines of the song he sang : 

"I am bound for Canada, that cold and barren land; 
The horrors of slavery I can no longer stand." 


This affected me, for we were going away from the North 
to a Southern country to get away from cold lands, and the 
nigger was headed in another direction. His song was full 
of pathos and recounted of how his wife and children had 
been sold in slavery, and then in his lecture he set forth how 
they belonged to> a good humane master who would sell them 
for a given price, and he was lecturing to get money to buy 
them. I was a capitalist at that time, having several dollars 
but more copper cents. That was the first and the only time 
in my life that I invested in even a small part of a nigger, and 
I believe that I gave as much money as any other person pres- 
ent. Just as the lecture was being concluded a band of what 
would be called Ku Klux in those days, from the pro-slavery 
neighborhood where I had lived, rushed in, but old Uncle Ned 
escaped unhurt. 

At any time five years before the Committee of Public 
Safety of Fort Bend County burned my Harper's Magazine 
and Dabney's Southern Botany and gave me notice to> quit, 
as related elsewhere, a piece of Horace Greeley's New York 
Tribune as big as my hand found in my store or in my pos- 
session would have hung me. To have found a copy of Uncle 
Tom's Cabin in any man's possession would have hung him 
without the benefit of bell, book or Bible, for any man to have 
taken out of the postoffice or even for any postmaster to have 
delivered to any man a Congressional document bearing the 
name of any Republican Congressman or United States Sena- 
tor would have hung that postmaster as well as the man. 

The Committee of Public Safety opened letters, as they 
did in the case of Hughes and Parker, related in a former 
chapter, and evil befell the man whose mother, sister, sweet- 
heart or wife wrote intimating that they were not pro-slavery- 

This man Horace Greeley, of whom all have heard, was the 
father of the Abolition party, and no man was looked upon 


with as much hatred as he was by the people of the South. 
To have intimated that there was any honor or good in Horace 
Greeley would have quickly ended the intimator's life. To 
have told a man that in less than ten years the Democrats of 
the South, the old original secessionists, would be shouting 
themselves hoarse and running themselves lame huzzaing for 
Horace Greeley and carrying a black Republican banner 
would have cost the life of any one. 

I was appointed a delegate to the Crittenden Peace Con- 
vention, that had been called by the Union people of the South 
to meet at Chattanooga, Tennessee, and we met in Governor 
Sam Houston's office in Austin, where we received a telegram 
from Alexander H. Stephens, Senator from Georgia, after- 
wards Vice-President of the Confederacy through the grace 
of Jeff. Davis, that Horace Greeley's Tribune of recent date 
editorially — double-leaded leader — stated that it was a well 
settled fact, or words to that effect, that there was no coercive 
power in the Constitution of the United States by which the 
North could coerce the Southern States back into the Union 
after they had seceded, etc., etc. 

There were twenty-two delegates present. It was left to 
the youngest, and that was I, to vote first as to whether, in 
view of this statement, we should go with the South or still 
hold on to the Union, and these were my reasons for casting 
my vote to go with the South and which were accepted by 
two-thirds of those present. 

That Horace Greeley was the originator and father of the 
black Republican party, that he made Abraham Lincoln Presi- 
dent of the United States, that he had made the Republican 
platform, that he had defeated William H. Seward in his own 
State by the nomination of Abraham Lincoln, that Abraham 
Lincoln was but clay in the potter's hands, that Horace Greeley 
could not possibly say this but that a council of the black 
Republican party leaders had authorized him to say it ; that in 


saying this he was oniy saying and affirming what all the 
Democrats and secessionists of the South had been declaring 
over and over again, and this being the case there would be no 
war, that all would be peaceably adjusted, and that in time, 
as Horace Greeley suggested, when we got tired of being out, 
we could come back into the Union, and further than this I 
was a peace man and would always be found arrayed on the 
side of the peace-maker. 

With these sentiments, as before said, two-thirds of the 
Committee agreed. Little did I or any one else in that room 
know that Horace Greeley, like James Gordon Bennett of the 
Herald, was a commercial editor who, for so much per line of 
eight words agate measure, would say anything and promise 
anything for any party who had the price. I was afterwards 
told, and as I firmly believe was true, and no man had ever 
yet undertaken to deny, nay, not even Sidell or Davis ever 
dared deny, that eighty-five thousand dollars in the Bank of 
England notes was paid for this one editorial leader and that 
the covenant was that he should never again be called upon to 
defend it in any way, and he did not. 

This editorial was the cause oif the formation of the Hueff 
regiment of Texas cavalry, composed of the members of the 
Public Safety Committee from different parts of the State, 
and who hung and otherwise murdered and assassinated more 
than one hundred and twenty Union men who were leaving 
the State inside of the prescribed time given them to leave by 
the Governor's proclamation. 

This man Horace Greeley (whose name did I have the 
power I would make it a penitentiary offense for any one to 
mention except in derision and contempt) went right on advo- 
cating in his paper all sorts of prescriptive measures looking 
to the conquering of the South, and no other paper published 
in the North had one-tenth the power that his paper had in 
this direction. 


There live but two men today, 1904, who could tell of the 
amount of Confederate cotton money, estimated at from eigh- 
teen to twenty-four million dollars, that was over in England 
and that the agents of the Government "fobbed" (or stole, is a 
better word), and what amount was paid over to Horace 
Greeley to secure the bail bonds of Jeff. Davis and to release 
from prison four other noted Con federates, among them ex- 
Postmaster General Regan, who was confined in Fort Warren, 
and who from writing there to' his friends in Texas to accept 
negro emancipation as a finality and furthermore be prepared 
for their enfranchisement — and this too after all Confederates 
had been paroled and taken the oath of allegiance — was burned 
in effigy in all parts of the State, and none was so brave as to 
do- him honor for telling the truth,. 

This Horace Greeley kept on publishing in his Tribune 
the most vile, slanderous articles on the people of the South, 
against their honor, and against their liberties, though he 
secured the bail bonds for Jeff. Davis, and I have challenged 
in my day any man to show that any reader of the one hun- 
dred and twenty-five thousand circulation of the New York 
Tribune in the Northern States ever read in that paper that 
Horace Greeley had admitted the right of the South to secede, 
much less that he had secured the bail bonds of Jeff. Davis. 

For doing these two things the leaders of the Southern 
Democracy took him up and nominated him, as the champion 
Democrat, for President of the United States and made the 
solid South support him; and yet there live men who say there 
is honor and principle and nobleness in the Southern Demo- 
cratic leaders. 

Old Horace Greeley died a poor man, as he justly should. 
I believe God intends all two-faced men like him must live on 
poor pickings on the other side and in cahoots and companion- 
ship with such men as made the Southern Public Safety Com- 
mittees and managed the affairs of that Government. Old 


Greeley was a very profane man. It was said that he could 
write a captivating abolition article and swear like a fish- 
monger at the same time. When he died W. R., his right hand 
"con man," was present, and while gasping his last breath, he 
had a very pointed talk with the old devil, stating that "I will 
be with you down in hell soon, and I'll give you the run of 
your life for the next election for master-in-chief of the fiery 
regions." And while having this talk with old Beelzebub, 
Greeley's life went out. 

One of his family was out West and telegraphed back to 
W. R. to> know what "father's last words were." 

His reply was, "I know that my Redeemer liveth." 

There may be many people in the United States, even at 
this late date, who think that Horace Greeley was a great, 
good and honest man, but these people should not be allowed 
the right to vote. According toi my idea there should be a 
mental qualification for any one to become a citizen and enjoy 
this great privilege of voting at our elections. 

When I was a boy my father was a subscriber to the 
National Intelligencer, published in Washington by Gales and 
Seaton, a paper that was as far above guile and deceit, 
hypocrisy and wrong, as the sun's light is above that made by 
a tallow dip. He also was a subscriber to the New York 
Express, a staunch old line Whig paper that believed in preach- 
ing and taught protection for everything that was of American 
birth or make, to which of course the party that was "ferninst" 
the Government opposed. 

An Irishman landing in New York fresh from the old sod 
was asked by another lately therefrom: 

"Pat, and what party are you going to belong to?" 

"Which party is ferninst the Government?" 

"The Democratic party." 

"Well, thin, I'll be a Dimocrat" 

The South is solid for the same reason that at a time in 


the past the Catholic Church ruled the world, and, as with it, 
there is coming a time when there will be a break up of the 
solid South, and then there will be a day of prosperity and 
happiness there. 

When such men as Bailey and Hogg of Texas car be 
pushed forward and pointed to as ideal men and good presi- 
dential timber, old-timers like myself look back and then think 
how most all things are possible with the devil, as we are told 
all things are possible with God. 

The establishing of civic federations in the South, referred 
to elsewhere, in which no ignorant man or politician can gain 
admittance, composed of men who' pay taxes and are the cap- 
tains of industry in their localities, men who* live for those 
who come after them, as do all great and good men, will soon 
bring about a reaction in the political affairs of the South that 
may or may not benefit the poor white trash or the nigger 

An old friend to whom I had been telling of the raseallity, 
trickery and deceit of the politicians in the city in which I 
lived, declared that the time was fast coming when this anarchy 
element would rise and destroy all that was esteemed as val- 
uable, good and great by good people. He seemed to be very 
much quieted when I told him that he was wrong, for with 
the money in my hand I could hire the crowd in this saloon 
to go fight and annihilate the crowd in the other saloon ; that 
money talks, and, when controlled by brain and power, will 
always, and there need be no fears or doubts. 

The day of blind prejudice, ignorant superstition and false 
preaching has passed, and its first knell was sounded when this 
great Government of ours was inaugurated by as brave a set 
of grand and noble men as God ever convened in noble assem- 
bly. It was the Declaration of Independence of the United 
States that was the first knell of the bell that since sounded 
around the world, and the man of intelligence, the man who 


had contributed to the great prosperity of this country in the 
last fifty years, sees with glory in his soul the coming yet of a 
still brighter day. 

I hope that no man will read my book that would ask 
here for me to say or point out where these great shocks of 
golden sheaves are to be seen, for such a person would not 
have sense enough to determine the difference in point of good- 
ness between the rot-gut grog that he has been accustomed to 
drink and the good old-fashioned apple jack or hand-made 
sour mash that the founders of this Government drank in their 

I have frequently had occasion for the good of the com- 
munity in which I live to< break into politics, but never from a 
party line, and I never would in my life take up the cause of a 
man who had been a traitor to> any cause, wherefore I opposed 
the Horace Greeley scheme of Southern disgrace and became 
very much disliked for so doing. I have since that day and 
time talked with intelligent people of the North on this sub- 
ject, and never have I known a man who had ever seen the 
article in Greeley's paper as to there being no coercive power 
in the Constitution of the United States. 

One dark and dismal night, by previous appointment, near 
Natchez, Mississippi, in obedience to orders from the Govern- 
ment, after having concealed my body guard of six fighting 
machines in the persons of as many Texas Ranger friends 
that I could depend upon, even risk my life in the hands of, 
I submitted to> an interview of several hours' duration with 
one of, if not the chief of the Secret Service of the United 
States Government, and there was no one but he and I any- 
where near, as he supposed. I was no more discreet then than 
he, for, like myself, he came prepared for a melee in case of an 
attempted abduction or kidnaping. 

No more than I would violate my most solemn tie and 
obligation would I tell of the interview that we had, a correct 


report of which I gave to my chief in Richmond. The matter 
relating to and of concern in this interview could have much 
better been attended to and conducted somewhere on the 
Potomac. Why it should have been 'way out West, and why I 
should have been selected to be the party to conduct it, I never 
could understand and would not question the party I met, on 
that score. 

Ever after this I felt that my life was in danger, and I 
was warned on two occasions, both of which compelled me to 
disobey orders from the Government. I would not be writing 
this book today had I obeyed either one of these orders. I 
am not such a coward and poltroon as to send a substitute, 
nor was I ever questioned as to why I disobeyed the orders 
emanating from the office of the Secretary of War but not 
signed by the Secretary of War. The Secret Service of the 
Government in those days was conducted on quite a different 
plan or line from what it is now between any Government; 
now such work is done by properly paid attorneys or by detec- 
tive associations. 

The nearest I ever got to the truth of this secret mission on 
which I was sent was several years afterwards. I was in Wash- 
ington, D. C., when a gentleman called on me at my hotel 
and wanted to know if I was not at one time in the employ 
of the Confederacy in the Signal and Secret Service. I lied 
out of it, and asked, "Why do you' ask?" 

He said that his memory told him that I was the man who 
had met another man that he was greatly interested in near the 
bank of the Mississippi River above Natchez in the "dark of 
the moon." I told him that it was very possible that if he 
persevered in his proposition that his false conception of faces 
might bring him in great trouble, and to the demand that I 
made upon him as to who he was, he replied : 

"It is none of your business since you are not the party that 
I am hunting for." 


I told him that there was such a mystery that I would like 
information, that it was interesting to me. I spent some 
money "shadowing" this man, but the detective who did the 
work for me and who followed him "turned turtle" and could 
give me no report, by this I mean he sold out to the other 
fellow, who was backed by much more money than I could 
command, if not by some arm of the Government Service of 
the United States, or once was. 

From my earliest infancy, when I was put to bed early, 
and from thence on all through life I retire to my apartment 
seldom later than eight P. M., and it is possible that there is 
not a man living today of my age and travel and experience 
who has seen as little of this world by gaslight or any other 
sort of light by night as I have seen. I have, however, been 
inveigled into "gun dances," which for the edification of my 
reader I will explain. 

An urgent call came to me one evening to the room of a 
hotel where I was stopping, near by where, as I supposed, I 
had a millionaire's interest in a hole in the ground called a 
mine. Feeling good and apprehending no danger I told the 
messenger that I would join them in a few minutes. When 
I did so, in a side room between the office of the hotel and the 
bar-room, three highwaymen leveled their six-shooters at my 
head and told me to drink from the bottle of whisky sitting 
on the table and to drink with them. This was a time when 
the thoughts of a moment are worth a life of toil, to which I 
have previously referred, and my wits were with me. Bowing 
I said : 

"Surely, gentlemen, after you." 

They drank first, and I drank with them, and looking at 
them I said : "Now, gentlemen, are you satisfied ?" 

The majority were; one wanted more fun, but the majority 
prevailed, and I never have been caught napping again — that 
was the first time in my life. 


Some years ago, from having participated in the organiza- 
tion of the Patriotic Sons of America in the City of Chicago, 
I was prevailed upon to accept their nomination for the Legis- 
lature on the little "Red Schoolhouse" proposition. I lived in 
a strong Republican district of the strongest Republican ward 
in the City of Chicago-. The sons of the Emerald Isle, who 
were very numerous in the lower part of my district — all 
Democrats — sought to make capital by having a "fracas" at 
my expense, and having heard that I was a stranger to fear, 
sent me a challenge to speak in a noted public hall, the rent of 
which they would pay if I would come there and make one of 
my "know-nothing" speeches. 

The idea of my being backed out never entered my head, 
and I knew that I knew Irish character well enough to accept 
the challenge — it was no invitation but a right down defi. 
The Chief of Police happened to be an American and a per- 
sonal friend of mine, but this was not known to all people. 
I accepted the challenge and had the Chief of Police send 
fifteen or more "all-arounders" in citizens' clothes, in other 
words a lot of picked policemen, who were the first to get into 
the hall and the nearest to* the platform. At an early hour the 
hall was packed, and not with voters alone, for Bridget and 
Mollie and Mary and all of the others of that gender or sex 
who loved fracases were there also. Of course, Mike, late 
from the "Old Sod," and all of his "hairy teeth" companions 
were well up in the front, and though I had a silk hat, I did 
not wear it that night. 

I shoved and pushed and worked my way through the 
densely packed crowd o>f Irish humanity, and crawled up as 
best I could on the platform, where there was no one to intro- 
duce me to the assemblage. I never was a good copyist, never 
could tell a thing twice alike, therefore I will not vouch for 
the following words as being the ones I said, but they came 
the next thing to it. After walking across the platform a time 


or two, apparently to collect my thoughts, I went to the front 
of the platform, took off my hat and made the most profound 
bow of which I was capable and said : 

''Fellow Citizens, Gentlemen and Ladies: I recognize the 
faces before me as being largely from the 'Old Sod.' I want 
you to look at me in the face and in my eyes, look at mjy 
tongue and see if it is forked [extending my licker as far out 
as possible] and [drawing myself up with as much force as I 
could] see if any of you would take me to be a coward or 
spalpeen, as you term them. Now give me five minutes to talk 
to you and then if you do not prove my friends I will submit 
myself to be quartered and drawn. 

"There is but one thing in the character of an Irish man 
or woman that I do hate, and now listen to me while I tell you 
what that one thing is. I am the grandson of one of the 
founders of this great nation, whose liberty you enjoy, and the 
thing above all things and the only thing I hate an Irishman 
for is that he does not hate the Englishman enough to suit me." 

In an instant the house was in an uproar and such yelling I 
never heard come from the throats of three or four thousand 
Irish men and women. A thousand hands rushed up towards 
me and voices shouted, "Good boy, he!" When the noise had 
subsided the balance of my remarks were somewhat on this 
line ; they were short : 

i "You would never have become the good citizens of this 
country that the majority of you are, did you not love above all 
things on the earth, saving the love of a mother and the reli- 
gion you embrace, the sod and soil and land your eyes first saw 
after birth, and no Irishman worthy the name and honor of that 
race should be tolerated on this land who would allow living 
mortal to say aught against the Green Isle!" 

This brought the house in another uproar, and I had in 
walking across the platform found the secret exit, which I 
took in double-quick. 


There were two English Orangemen organizations o r 
lodges in my district and their voting strength was two hun- 
dred and eighty. I was defeated for the Legislature by thirty- 
six votes. I do not know that an Irishman voted for me, but 
I do know that there was not an Englishman in the district 
but who peddled tickets against me. 

A few days after the election I received an invitation, all 
properly engrossed, as an unsuspicious person would naturally 
suppose, from one of these Orangemen Lodges, inviting me 
to meet them at a certain point 'way out on Blue Island ave- 
nue. I read it over, and it occurred to me that I did not 
want to be there. I had previously taken a great interest in 
the prosecution of the Dr. Cronin murderers, for which no 
few of the Clan-na-gael members held daggers up their sleeves 
for me. Armed and with six very substantial friends I was 
near about where the supposed meeting was to take place and 
with us were two newspaper reporters. 

We watched from a secreted spot the men who came in and 
went out and counted their number. It was just about such 
another lonely spot as where Dr. Cronin had been murdered. 
We waited and watched and saw the crowd disperse in time 
for the reporters to' fill the next morning's big daily papers 
with several columns of scare matter under big scare headlines 
and I was again made notorious and in a way that I did not 
much like. 

That I have always had a guardian angel who has pro- 
tected me from wrong and harm is not more true than that I 
have been conscious for these many years that a dark shadow 
has at times got very near to me. Eternal vigilance has been 
no more the price of liberty than it has been my salvation. 

I could fill several more pages of my book telling of simi- 
lar encounters but will close with but one more. 

I had a difficulty with a man down in the Lone Star St^ fo 



who at short range emptied his revolver at me and was then 
coming with a "tooth pick," thinking that I was unarmed. 
That was his mistake. He quickly learned better and has 
been a much better man ever since. I was taught early in life 
that it was only the good Indians that were dead. 


Often we meet people who, judging from their actions, 
imagine they are something above the ordinary. No one has 
ever yet seen the man or the woman who uses the looking- 
glass much but that he sees a fool, made so from the poisoning 
of his brain through self-conceit. When persons become more 
familiar with and accustomed to their own faces and looks 
than with those of others, they become conceited and vain 
and foppish and grow into dudes and dudeens. When doubt 
sets in wisdom commences, but the self-conceited Jack never 
has doubts as to his being the most beautiful, and therefore 
the wisest, of all men of his acquaintance, and it is only from 
the world's not knowing him that it fails to esteem him as 

We come across these people at every turn in life. They 
are the weasels in the barnyard that give the man of affairs 
so much trouble. In my day and time I have given employ- 
ment to a great number of people, and I have done my part 
in the way of educating and fitting a great number of young 
people for business and proper lives, and I have never yet 
given employment to> a man or woman who kept a looking- 
glass in front of them all the while, and who are constantly 
fixing their collars and primping, or who spend more time 
in twisting their mustaches and pompadours than would be 
required to educate a baboon, but that I was left in some 
way, and as I trusted such I was left badly. 

It is the plain, everyday, meet-him-every-time-always-the- 
same man that this world loves the most and rewards the 
greatest. The actor and the dissembler to me proves the one 
who is self in nothing but all deceit, who is the curse of this 



earth and makes the bountiful soil grow with thistles and 
thorns. "All the world loves a lover," and it also loves a 
fighter, but not a lover of self nor a fighter who attains pro- 
ficiency in deceit. 

The more one sees of the world and mankind in it, and 
the more mankind hears of the deceit, the more he is prone 
to think of dogs, and from so 1 thinking the best of all great 
people become recluses and draw in unto themselves and away 
from the world. "Disappointment maketh the heart sick," 
and from what deceives and disappoints in our fellow men 
the best of us become tired and want to travel, and if, when 
we shall have traveled to- that bourne from which no traveler 
e'er returns, we find there in the shady nooks on the banks 
of the babbling brooks the same that has made this earth so 
tiresome to us, then there is no truth in the Holy Writ, and 
not until then shall we be prepared to say that "Life was not 
worth living." 

Three men were traveling on the top of an open stage 
coach. One was admiring the grandeur of the scenery and 
the magnificence of the great forest through which they were 
passing, and the country viewed from the mountain peaks 
over which they were traveling. The other had nothing to 
say. The third, a Yankee, declared that he believed that it 
was worth twenty-four cords to the acre. To the admirer 
of the beautiful in nature all things are added. A contented 
mind is a continual feast. The selfish calculator has nothing 
added unto him except as it comes by his own hard licks. 

The native ojf a beautiful country with beautiful surround- 
ings has little appreciation of them until he shall have been 
cast away upon a desert land, and possibly it never comes to 
him until it is too late to enjoy them. We "never miss the 
water till the well runs dry," and the water that has passed 
the wheel grinds no more corn, and as an illustration of the 
effect of our coming into this world, as well as our going 


out, if one should go to a mill pond and stick his finger in it, 
he will note the effect which will represent his coming into, 
and pulling his finger out of the water will note the effect 
which will represent his going out of the world. 

If one would leave a record behind to show that he had 
been here, he must not only build a dam and make a mill 
pond and build a mill which will grind corn, but he must 
plant trees around the margin close to the water and trees 
which will bear fruits and nuts and give shade to the weary 
traveler and the boy bathing, or the fisherman seeking sport, 
and though not one in tens of thousands who may enjoy the 
fruits of his planting will ever stop to ask, "Who did this that 
I might enjoy these blessings and pleasures and comforts?" 
yet the planter will obtain his reward in the fair beyond where 
pleasures come from having pleasures done. 

A party of men in the East had bought a large tract of 
timber land out West, and they sent a man, in whom they had 
great confidence, out to- build a sawmill, etc. After sending 
him much money they sent another man to see what was 
the matter and he reported back in writing: "I have found 
a dam by a mill site, but no mill by a dam site." 

It is much easier for a man to have a thing done by proxy, 
but when it comes to> getting it done right he will find it much 
easier to do it himself. 

When a boy but eighteen I made my first mining invest- 
ment, with twelve others, of one thousand dollars each. The 
man who presented the scheme was of that sort that Saint Paul 
ran up against some time before he wrote his statement respect- 
ing such men, referring to them as being able to* "deceive the 
very elect." The property that we invested in was in the 
center of Mexico and near the Gaudalahara Mining Camp>, 
which had an undisputed record of having produced nearly 
four hundred million dollars in gold and silver in the past 


two hundred years and was not yet lifting ore from its largest 
and richest zone. 

We went in on a drainage scheme more than that of min- 
ing. It was so forcibly and convincingly presented to us that 
it was plain to see there was millions in it. We only had to 
make a tunnel from the base of the mountains below and, as 
the map showed, only a short distance to tap the vein two 
thousand or more feet below the lowest workings of the mine 
which was then sixteen hundred feet down. It was at that 
time costing the miners four times more to keep the water out 
than it cost to take the ore out, and it was plainly shown to 
us by this lightning calculator, hypnotizing, mesmerizing, map- 
making, rapid-talking mining expert that the laws of old Spain 
and Mexico absolutely gave us all the advantage should we 
drain the property, as this tunnel was bound to do, then three- 
fourths or more of all those valuable lodes and veins and 
mines would be ours. 

We were shown how each of our one thousand dollars 
would grow into' anything from five to one hundred millions 
of dollars long before the time our first-born's children would 
call us "grandpap." For nearly forty years I nursed this delu- 
sion and lost several more thousands of dollars feeding the 
villains that my nursing nourished, and one by one I bought 
out the interests of estates by permission of the Probate Courts 
and when old age commenced driving her silver spikes in my 
black hairs and the frost of many winters had changed the 
raven locks to frosty hues I concluded to 1 go and see about it. 

In getting there, after leaving the railroad there were sev- 
eral places which I passed where had my mule or horse stum- 
bled no enterprising buzzard would ever have bothered our 
carcasses in the chasm or canyon below the trail. I did the 
inspection act and lost no time getting out of the country, fear- 
ing that I might be waylaid by the accursed brigands in the 
employ of the descendants of the aforesaid mining expert. 


The mountain was there, the mine was there, the wealth 
was there and the water was there and the vast plain at the 
foot of the mountain more than two> thousand feet below the 
first workings of the mine was there, but it was fourteen miles 
away, and to have built a tunnel that would have tapped the 
vein to the depth that was illustrated in the map shown us 
would have cost twice more than all the money that had ever 
been taken out of the Luntz lode, first discovered by some of 
Cortez' men in 1462. 

I could have sold my interest in this enterprise after I had 
gone and made the investigation to others interested in it with 
me on the strength of. the report that was made in 1859 for a 
price that would have made me a well-to-do man, and I did sell 
to one who, when I reported to him, accused me of lying in 
order to buy up the property cheap. He paid dear for his 
questioning my honesty and died in grief from his loss and is 
in the hands of the devil to-day because he judged me by him- 

As many know without my telling them again, I have had 
more experiences over vast territory in mining and have 
financed several large deals, and up to within a very few years 
there were but few tricks in the trade that I was not up to. I 
have made a greater number of enemies from not robbing them 
of all they had than I have from ever having taking any one's 
money that failed to pay them a dividend. My experience in 
the deals in this part of my life will be of very little value to 
others, so I shall not relate many of them. 

I grub-staked three men. They went into the region that 
promised great mining possibilities and made a location and 
did the required assessment work, tried to sell and could get 
nothing. I came the next year and saw that the prospect bid 
fair, but it would be in the deep before anything of a wealth- 
producing nature was brought to the surface. I wanted them 
to put up. They had practiced before the bar that had bottles 


instead of legal tomes behind it, and had put all of their wealth 
up to the grog dealer and they were thirsty and were behind 
in their board bill and I bought them out at their own price. 

I went to the claim and commenced digging and driving 
the drill aided by three men who' belonged to the union and 
who struck on me because I insisted upon working more than 
eight hours a day. In the twelve or fourteen that I would 
work I did more than both of them would do in their sixteen. 
I was not long there by myself until I became convinced that 
others might see greater wealth in the future in that hole in 
the ground than I could see and there had been a big strike of 
rich ore in a near-by claim. 

The men who struck me for a deal thought that I knew 
nothing about the business I would not be digging myself 
and had not heard of the big strike, and therefore imagined 
that they were getting the advantage of me when they made 
me an offer that would have bought a big farm in Iowa. I 
smelled a rat. It was a surprise to> me and I felt my blood 
thickening up in an instant and thought of what might be in 
store for me in the future, and putting my thoughts into action 
I pulled the lids of my eyes down and asked them, "Do you 
see anything green?" 

In twenty-four hours time the offer was trebled, and having 
been one of a party on many occasions where two fools met 
I said, "Yes," and I had soon placed to* my bank account more 
money than I ever again had placed there through any mining 
transaction, and had I quit the business then I surely must 
have been much better off than I was in six years afterwards 
from having gone into it deeper than ever. 

I became the possessor of a property that bid fair to be a 
great dividend producer, but having no money to work it, 
organized a company. I offered shares for sale to my friends 
in the East and all around, which were taken on my reputation 
and word without question. This money was judiciously 


invested and after spending nearly one-fourth of a million dol- 
lars the property proved worthless. The vein, instead of 
widening out and becoming richer, narrowed in and became 
poorer. It was wedge shaped, but instead of the point being 
up it was down. The walls were there, both hanging and 
foot, and every mark of what Freiburg mineralogists and min- 
ing experts' told us could not fail to be a great wealth producer. 

Seeing that to go any further would only be like the man 
sinking in quicksand, I made an outcry and told the truth by 
saying that the property was not worth a canceled postage 
stamp, and that all of our investments were lost and that I 
was going to quit and make no further efforts, but that since 
the investments were made upon my recommendation I would 
return every man his money in a product of a mine of which 
I had great quantities of shares and which they could sell, for 
it was selling freely then and in still greater quantities now. I 
sent to each stockholder the names and addresses of all the 
stockholders, giving them an opportunity to correspond with 
each other and sixty days' time to determine whether they 
would take my offer or not, not for a moment thinking that 
they would do> otherwise. 

A bright idea struck a New England Yankee, who had a 
good lot of money gained from deals in stocks and Board of 
Trade transactions, that I was just as he would be and was 
doing only what he would do. He wrote me a letter in sub- 
stance saying that he did not propose to accept any such offer, 
that I had got his and other people's money and now wanted 
to rob them by getting back all the stock for a song and that 
he did not propose to be "yanked" in that way and dared me to 
name a price I would receive for my stock, which was consid- 
erable over a majority of all the shares. 

I struck while the iron was hot and telegraphed him that 
if in thirty days he would pay each and every stockholder the 
original amount they had paid in that I would sell him my 


holdings for one-fourth of what he had paid for the stock 
standing out. I published his letter and my telegraphic reply 
and mailed them to every stockholder. In thirty days' time 
they all had their money and I had my price. Out of more 
than three hundred men who had invested with me upon my 
representation there were but ten who stayed by me and judged 
me to be honest like themselves. I did well by them, the 
others not only lost what they paid in, but the sharp man who 
accused me of being a rascal lost his money and twice as much 
more, amounting in all to half a million dollars, trying to prove 
to the world that I was a sharper seeking to defraud people 
who had placed confidence in me. My conscience was clear 
and I had more money than any or all who had followed the 
lead of the sharper. 

I found that the miining business was so alluring as to 
attract most of the get-rich-quick people, as well as all of the 
sharpers and unprincipled men from all parts of the 'world, 
and I began to believe that, were I endowed with twice my 
natural wisdom and cunning, there was no money in the min- 
ing business for me unless I threw honesty to the winds and 
went in on general principles in rascality and robbery. 

When the oil excitement struck Texas I owned a large 
mineral rights claim in a southern county, and not far from 
where the big gushers had been struck, and for which I was 
offered all sorts of prices. I told the company that offered 
me the biggest of any that that amount of money was so 
much greater than I had been accustomed to that it might 
make me crazy; that I had been used to* getting along on 
smaller amounts and that I could continue to do so, and besides 
I had so many poor kin that the amount offered would not 
make them all as rich, as myself ; that I could bore a few holes 
myself, and if the oil was on the property I had ways and 
means of taking care of it. 

I knew with next to a certainty that there was no oil 


underneath the Damon Mound, yet as a flyer I sent out to 
my many friends, patrons and poor kin a prospectus, tell- 
ing them of what other people claimed I had; that I was 
going to divide the six hundred acres into five-acre lots; that 
I was going to bore on four of them, and if oil was found I 
would then sell stock on the basis of forty-five thousand dollars 
for each five-acre tract, I taking fifty-five thousand myself; 
that this would be divided into ten-dollar shares, making a 
million-dollar corporation for each five acres. I sent to each 
an option they were to sign and return to me, they agreeing 
in sixty days' time from the date I struck oil on the four dif- 
ferent five-acre tracts to take and pay for the number of shares 
subscribed for. 

They sent in nearly two million dollars' worth of options 
on this basis in a very short time. The oil schemers and 
swindlers were advertising at a terrific rate in all papers 
throughout the land, and the people, including the hired girl 
and the jehu, were well up on oil investing schemes, and it 
did seem more madness not to invest than to invest. 

I spent no money in boring, but the wildcats did, and 
some of them up to within a few feet of my side lines, and 
they bored and bored, and it turned out just as I expected; in 
fact, just as I knew it would, and the territory was quickly 
abandoned after perhaps a million or more dollars had been 
expended in boring there and from five to fifty times the 
amount lost by people who invested in wildcat stocks, issued 
based on the oil's being there. 

At a cost of several hundred dollars I sent back to 1 all who 
had sent me their options, the same, stamping on the face of 
them, "Null and void and of no> value." There might have 
been upwards of ten thousand or more of these options. Not 
less than five hundred or perhaps one thousand wrote to me 
accusing me of being all sorts of a swindler, yes, as I could see 
it, for no other reason than that I had not swindled one of 


them out of one cent of their money — would scorn to do such 
a thing — and because I was the only honest man they had had 
dealings or corresponded with. These letters would have 
made me feel very bad but for the fact of my receiving thous- 
ands and thousands containing expressions in the very opposite 
direction. Experiences of this sort in great numbers have 
taught me to believe that there are numbers of people who 
have only evil thoughts, and those continually, and the num- 
ber of people who want to be humbugged are even greater than 
P. T. Barnum estimated them. 

A club was formed by a college graduating class, prom- 
ising each other to come together every year and give their 
experiences during the interim. Among other conditions in the 
by-laws was this : "That no one should lie in making a deal, 
they would go out of business first." At the first annual there 
was not a single man there who was in business, and it was 
then that the question was propounded : "What shall we do to 
make an honest living?" And it has been the question ever 
since at each successive annual meeting for fifty years ; yet 
each member for and during all that time had money enough 
to attend the annual meeting at no inconsiderable expense, and 
some of them took their wives and families and some their 
grandchildren with them. 

The wisdom developed in the discussion of the original 
question by this club enabled them all to go back wealthy, 
and who shall say but that "in the multitude of counsel there is 
wisdom ?" 

It is not true that all tradesmen are liars and cheats. The 
most successful merchant and dealer is the one who> will not 
deal in goods he has to lie about to- sell. He is the farmer 
who never puts all the little, faulty berries or fruit at the bot- 
tom of the box or basket or barrel and who- does not try to sell 
guinea eggs at hens' ^gg prices. 

It is the cheat of cheats who says that there is no honesty 


in trade and business, and I have never yet come across a 
man or woman who was all the time on the lookout for being 
cheated but that they would cheat every time they got a chance. 
The man who buys a basket of peaches that is bushed with a 
pink muslin cover is a fool if he expects not to be cheated 
both in false packing and false bottom. The more beautiful 
the doll's dress the more frail the doll, was impressed upon 
me by a little girl for whom I bought a beautifully dressed 
doll, which she let fall upon the floor, whereupon some O'f its 
anatomy was smashed. Upon my saying: "That was too 
bad," though the child was only four years old she said: 

"You ought toi have better sense than to buy a doll already 
dressed. Mamma never done that." 

We buy a wagon not so much because of its highly colored 
paint as on the reputation of the man who* built the wagon. We 
expect to be cheated every time we deal with a horse-trading 
deacon, and noi matter how cheap goods may be offered us 
by a cheap John dealer, the man who 1 buys knows that he has 
thrown half of his money away as compared with what he 
would have done had he bought the goods of an honest man. 
One would much prefer to trade with another in whom he 
had unlimited confidence, is the reason why all honest dealers 
prosper and have new customers who stay to become old. 

When the first man who> commenced the express business 
in the United States had built quite a business carrying pack- 
ages between Boston and Lowell, he established an agent in the 
latter town, who in a short time and at the very first oppor- 
tunity that he had ran away with a considerable amount of 
money. The owner stopped his express business and spent all 
of the money he had and borrowed more tracking the thief 
up and finally landed him in the penitentiary, where he was 
given a good long term. The owner then went back to his 
business and all of the farmers and merchants patronized him, 


and from that on his business grew until today it reaches 
more than twice around the world. 

First convince the public that you are a man of your word 
and the public will place confidence in you, but not before. 

Education as conducted in the last generation or two> since 
public school teaching has become a trade, a graft or pull, has 
not been conducive to> either public morals or the diffusion of 
knowledge, though it may be said it has given an opportunity 
for the "survival of the fittest," but to no greater extent than 
it has given an opportunity for the young natural born thief to 
develop into perfection in that line. 

Our public school system, as I view it, is wrong in many 
respects, and particularly in that moral economy is not taught 
in the first grades. I believe that the only book leading in 
this direction, that of psychology, can be credited to a sermon 
delivered by the great and noble Dr. Thomas of Chicago on 
the subject, "The Importance of Moral Economy Being 
Taught in the Public School," and of which I had printed an 
edition of twenty-five thousand, which were sent to all the 
principal educators in the United States and were also dis- 
tributed at the National Educational Convention held in 1883 
in Montreal, Canada. 

This Dr. Thomas was the man who was turned out of the 
Methodist Church the next year after this for having preached 
that God was a God of love and not a God of vengeance. All 
the good people who belonged to the Methodist Church at 
that time have wept bitter tears of sorrow, and today, as fast 
as those who> were at that Rockford (Illinois) Conference 
who voted him out, step over the line, they are embraced by 
old Beelzebub for the reason, as I see it, that like begets like; 
that it was God's first law, and never is it more sure, in 
my estimation that the man or woman whoi is always thinking 
that God is a cruel, unrelenting, pain-pleasing God of ven- 


geance and no mercy, just as the heathen pagan make their 
God — those people will be received by just such a God. 

Just so with him who looks upon his great Creator as being- 
one of love and kindness, of goodness and of grace, and is 
ever ready to adore and return thanks to that great Creator for 
all the beauty and joy and pleasure that He has given us on 
this earth, that person is sure to be a partner with that sort of 
a Creator when he crosses over the line, and there will be no 
Beelzebub bubbling and smoking hell. 

" According to thy faith so be it unto thee," was enunciated 
by the Babe in the manger whose star the wise men saw, which 
caused them to journey to the WEST, which was nothing won- 
derful to my compeers in this life where all wise men, be they 
in the East or in the West, at all times see the star of great- 
ness rising as its need is demanded. He who. has faith in 
evil, the like shall he receive. Unto the evil all things are evil, 
and the pure in heart that sees no guide shall inherit everlast- 
ing pleasure and enjoyment. Nothing is more sure than that 
we shall leave the fruit of our sowing, and nothing is more 
sure than that like will beget like. It is a Bible truth ; it is a 
truth that has stood in all the past and will never be departed 

The father who teaches his son from his earliest infancy 
to speak the truth with an open eye and to fear not, and who 
departs not from this line of teaching in anything, is the father 
who may expect in old age to be glorified and surrounded with 
joy and pleasure, while the one who* is negligent to this great 
truth may expect to go to his grave with sorrow and regret 
and leave behind him nothing worthy of a name, and as this 
is a truth as respects boys, it is doubly true as respects girls, 
for "she who* rocks the cradle rules the nation." 

This reminds me that we no longer hear the good old lullaby 
cradle songs that the great men of my age were rocked to sleep 
by; and why is it that the public schools, the corner-stone of 


which is the Bible, has departed from its teachings, and 
instead of home, life and love the opposite has come to us? 

It was not long ago that I was expected to make a talk 
before a large body of men belonging to an order that perhaps 
has done more to elevate the human race than all the other 
societies on earth, and when going to the stand — I knew the 
hall — I stumbled on and kicked off the lights, and, command- 
ing silence, I repeated : 

"Rock-a-by, baby, on the tree top, 

When the wind blows the cradle will rock, 

When the bough bends the cradle will fall ; 

And down will come baby, cradle and all." 

Throwing the light on and facing my audience, I discov- 
ered there was not a dry eye there that had seen the light of 
day thirty-five years, and then I addressed myself to those who 
had never heard this song, and in doing so was wildly 
applauded by all. 

If to-day I were going out in the world to conquer with 
an army of invincibles I would do as the founder of the Roman 
Catholic Church, adopt songs that were popular with the old 
people, and I would destroy all but a few that were popular 
with the young of toi-day. 

To make a comparison between the songs of fifty years ago 
and those of to-day would be like comparing good Christian 
doctrine with paganism. The songs of the Anglo-Saxon race 
fifty years hence will have as little of the "Frenchy" and the 
"Dutchy" and the "Dago" in them as did the songs of fifty 
years ago. In the next fifty years there are going to be more 
revolutions looking to the advancement of the human race 
in every line that can be advanced upon, than there have been in 
the last three hundred years or more. The great scholars of 
the day and the great lawmakers of the land and the great 
business interests and the captains of industry are combining 


looking to this end, and though fierce be their fight with the 
saloon and the dago element and the ignorant and the indiffer- 
ent, the bright line of truth is going to win out, and when it 
once shines upon this earth, as it will, life will then be worth 

That such a man as Horace Greeley could return now and 
be considered a reputable citizen by the respectable element in 
the United States, no man of common intelligence will dare 

The pulse and brain of this great United States is not to 
be controlled by perfidy, falsehood, fraud, deceit or knavery. 
Where some see only misfortune and ill omens in the organi- 
zation of our laboring classes, I see a bright star beyond that 
will light the way of a people that heretofore have been con- 
trolled only by the blind leading the blind and by the dema- 
gogue of the pulpit as well as of the rostrum, for gain, pander- 
ing to their ignorance, as well as indulging in their wrongs and 

No such man as he of yellow journalism can buy his way 
to any place of great prominence, though he may be able to 
create a storm in centers where the vile, ignorant and unpa- 
triotic are the greatest in numbers and where rum money 
never fails to bring applause. So long as there is an element 
that can be appealed to by the designing demagogue in politics 
as well as by the hypocritical preacher in religion, there will 
be trouble, for when the rabble hiss patriots tremble. 


Fish, bear and snake stories are always in order, because 
they always have been and always will be. From the days of 
Nimrod and Samson with his jawbone, and Jonah smoking a 
cigar in the whale's belly, and every one having experiences in 
this line will tell of them, and they are not supposed to lose 
anything by their telling and being retold. 

My first fish story would start with the catching of a very 
small minnow, in a spring-house brook, that grew and grew 
and still grows, for it is not many moons ago> that I saw from 
my home on the Pacific Coast a sight in the Bay of Monterey 
that, had I been able to photograph it, people would say it was 
fishy, just as thousands will say my telling of it is, notwith- 
standing I promised this should be a book of truths. 

A school of one hundred or more spouting whales came in 
the bay, and I was astonished at no one's being surprised so 
much as myself, though history tells that this was the great- 
est whaling station on the Pacific Coast up to within the rec- 
ollection of men now living. This Bay of Monterey, Califor- 
nia, on which Santa Cruz is situated, was, since the whales 
were created, their breeding grounds. I am told that the 
cypress that grows on the point overlooking this bay is of the 
same variety that is found only in the Holy Land and is spoken 
of in the Scriptures. This I believe no one will question or 
doubt who has ever driven through them, for a more beauti- 
ful drive cannot be found on the American continent, as I 
have heard thousands of greater globe-trotters than I pro- 

There are many fish stories that have been relegated to the 
past since the Pacific Coast and its tributary country have been 



explored and the fish found therein told of. Few who have 
not studied or visited the fishing waters of the Pacific Coast 
know much of or about them, only as they learn through a 
tin can, and the can only teaches of the salmon that in point of 
numbers and the wealth that they have brought to the world 
would compare with the cod of mackerel of the Atlantic as 
would Barnum's lilliputian Tom Thumb with his eight-foot 
giant. "What a lie!" some one will say, but he who inves- 
tigates the matter will find that my comparison is tame instead 
of being excessive. This is not the biggest fish story that I have 
in store if you will but read more. 

A few years ago' I was visiting my birthplace and I went 
at four A. M. down to the Dowagiac Creek, if not to catch, 
then to see the fish and to see if there was any evidence left 
of what I had once seen at this point upon the steel bridge; 
while standing cogitating upon the past and seeing no 
fish going up the stream as then, an odd man came walking 
down the road who resembled Father Time somewhat. He 
seemed timid and somewhat afraid of me, as he might be of a 
ghost. I spoke to him in as clever a way as I could command 
and asked if he was an old settler. He said he was, but I did 
not recognize his face. I asked : 

"Do the sturgeon ever come up this stream any more at 
this season of the year to> their spawning ground above?" 
He looked at me in wonder and amazement and said : 

"I never heard of them doing so." 

"Then you are not an old settler?" 

"I am so taken" was his reply. 

I then told him that I had seen this stream, when there 
was more water in it than now at this season of the year, so 
filled with sturgeon going up that one could hardly see the 
water; that I had seen a wagon so loaded, scooped up as it 
were with a pitchfork and hooked up by pothooks, that the 
horses were unable to pull the wagon up that bank. The old 


man looked at me with wide-open eyes and commenced shying 
off towards the grocery, which was a mile away in the town 
of Niles. I felt that I had done my good work and that I 
would hear from it again soon. 

That day I was visiting with some friends, when one pres- 
ent, and who was as ignorant as the old man was himself, told 
the ten or fifteen present about what he had heard that morn- 
ing down-town, the biggest fish story of his life and he was 
asked to repeat it. He said: 

"This morning as old Mr. was going to town 

he met a tramp in store clothes, who. held him up on the 
bridge, and after not being able to get anything from him 
told him — that is, the tramp told him — that he had seen the day 
when the people round about Here drove their wagons in the 
middle of this stream and filled them so full of fish that their 
horses could not pull them up the bank on the other side unless 
they doubled their teams, and that the people here had in this 
way provided themselves with fish for the year, pickling and 
afterwards drying them." 

The question was asked, "Who could the tramp have 

An old man present who knew my early habits and who 
also knew of the truth of my fish story said : "I can tell you 
who the tramp was." 

Upon being requested to do so* he pointed to me and then 
said, "There he is ; and he told the truth." 

But for the verification by the old citizen, who* was held in 
high esteem in the church circles, my name would have been 
Dennis from telling the truth about my own birthplace to men 
and women above middle age. 

There is no longer a sturgeon to be found in all Lake 
Michigan, where in my memory millions and millions were to 
be found, as I have seen the buffalo on the Western plains, 
I have lived to see the two pass away. 


Permit a little digression, reader. This chapter is being 
taken down by my stenographer from a seat in a buggy while 
I am driving through this land, a veritable paradise, driving as 
I am over roads that were but blazed ways and trails in the 
great forests of trees that have passed away in my time. 
Paradise, ask you? "Yes!" And I would ask back, "Does 
civilization civilize?" 

From this very spot I can look over a land that within 
my recollection was inhabited by the Indians, who lived without 
care and with but little fear and without toil. When they 
wanted fish they went to the streams and the lakes lying all 
through this land, and without baiting a hook or losing time 
picked out of the water just the size fish they wanted and of 
the sort their fancy called for. When they wanted meat they 
could go to the marshes nearby in any direction and kill a 
deer without arrow or spear and as you might walk in your 
sheepfold and take a mutton or a spring lamb, When they 
wanted a bird they only had to wait until the wild turkey 
went to roost, like the darkey down South to-day would 
do if your chickens were not under lock and key. When 
they wanted fruit, each and all in their seasons, be it the wild 
strawberry, the dewberry, the blackberry, the raspberry or the 
grape which grew in great clusters all around, or the wild haw 
or the wild crabapple, which, when it ripened, fell on the 
ground and was covered by leaves and then by snow, which 
preserved it all the winter for next spring and summer use. 
Would that not make a paradise of any country? 

And what can be said of this locality, my birthplace, can 
be said yet to a greater extent of the other sections of this 
land, of God's blessing that I know of, and I believe that 
greater and still better was to have been found in the latitudes 
of Kentucky and Tennessee. 

Tell me that Cortez brought a better civilization or Chris- 
tianity than he found in Mexico? I say no ; the people there to- 


day are degrees worse off than when that pirate landed on the 
shores of America. 

Answer the question to suit yourself whether civilization 
civilizes or not, but I believe that you will agree with me in my 
doubts the more yoiu may see and know and cannot say that 
I am only dealing in fish stories and raising "fishy" questions. 

Years ago, and after Tom Bridger, the great Western 
scout and a great American character, in whose honor Fort 
Bridger was named, had made the Yellowstone Park some- 
what notorious among those who became wise as to* our coun- 
try's greatness more through oral than through books or news- 
paper reports. 

The American scout and trapper from the earliest days 
of pur country's history was a peculiar character unto' him- 
self. What one knew the other found out even in the remot- 
est parts O'f our country by transmission through word of 
mouth and never through letter or print. No character was 
more repulsive or more shunned than a newspaper reporter 
or an editor would be. I knew years and years before any 
considerable portion of the public knew, nearly all about Yel- 
lowstone Park, and years before the Government set it aside 
as a national park, and it should have been called "Bridger's 
Land" for he more than any other was its explorer, guide, 
scout and defender. 

He was a man of indomitable perseverance, self-educated, 
self-made and self-willed, and a truer man never looked 
another square in the face. He was one who exemplified the 
truth of the assertion that "truth is stranger than fiction." 
He had told of the geysers and waterfalls and lakes and other 
wonderful things in nature's field of winders that were to 
be seen in that country. His descriptions were always found 
good. He told of the wonderful fish that were to* be found up 
there and the wonderful beavers and the immense bear, both 
as to size and number, and that no Indian came within its 


sacred precincts for they considered it a spirit or ghost land. 
He told of the wonderful elk, both as to size and number. He 
would go in there in the monthocf June and cooie out early in the 
month of September, at the same season of the year that the 
big elk and the big bear came there to enjoy the beautiful 
scenes of nature as well as the rich grasses, and just as the 
wealthiest and greatest men of our nation and of the world 
in general go there now at the same season of the year. 

Therefore Bridger came in contact with not the ordinary 
of any race or species but the extraordinary of all. He was 
a man who could tell a story and, doubt it who might, no one 
dared to snicker or squint his eye. To be questioned in what 
he told was a mortal insult, and Jim Bridger never brooked 
anything of that sort. 

He told how one day he was out hunting in the Park with 
his favorite and always to be relied upon rifle and bowie knife, 
and he noticed a herd of elk a very short distance away, and, 
being in need of that sort of meat, fired away at an elk whose 
antlers would measure not less than twelve or fifteen feet from 
tip to tip. His gun went off all right, but the elk never moved 
or seemed to notice it, and he fired again and again with ditto 
as a result each time. He clubbed his gun and stole up towards 
the elk to kill it in that way, when he ran up against a glass 
mountain and hurt himself and was astonished to find that that 
elk was twenty-five miles away beyond a great and almost 
impassable canyon. 

The Absedian mountain in the Yellowstone Park which 
is passed by all tourists, would, but for the color of the glass, 
sanction Bridger's story. 

He told of how you could catch beautiful one-and-one-half- 
pound mountain trout with an unbaited hook in a bubbling 
brook or mountain stream and throw it over on the other side 
of the rock or ground on which you stood, and, without tak- 
ing it off his hook, cook it in the hot spring just below ; and 


of another place where the hot spring broke out from the side 
of the mountain and ran over the deep cold water from the 
mountain stream, and that he only had to drop an unbaited 
hook down through the four feet of two hundred degrees hot 
water and catch a mountain trout in the cold strata below and 
pull it up through the hot well cooked and ready for the mouth. 

These pass as fish stories,- but I have done the same as 
Bridger said might be done and so can any one else who will 
go there. 

I was giving my experiences and telling my best fish sto^ 
ries, all truths, before a body of gentlemen, the American Hay 
Fever Club, at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, where 
we would meet to exchange experiences with hay fever cures, 
and after mixing drinks tell fish, bear and snake stories, all 
of which had to be vouched for in some way. Several good 
ones had been told and I told the above. A new comer or two 
joined the party and I was requested to tell it again, but being 
wise I declined and said I was too* much a lover of Shakespeare 
to do anything of that sort. Of course I was asked what he 
had to do with it. My reply, "He never repeats." 

Another undertook to repeat it but hearsay stories would 
not go: Quite a commotion was being created because I would 
not reaffirm my story, when the president of the club, who was 
an "all-rounder" came in. After speaking to all of the boys 
he wanted to know the cause of the laughter and commotion. 
They then insisted that I should repeat my story to the new 
arrival. I knew my man as well as I knew what was in the 
air. This being his first season, he was not up to the new 
by-laws adopted for the season's recreation. I retold the fish 
story, to which he said : 

"That is all right ; I have been there and done it myself." 

An immediate adjournment was taken to the hall below, 
where several had previously adjourned to play billiards. It 
cost that man what would have been a young fortune to me in 


my day in wines and high-brand champagnes for being a wit- 
ness to a first-class fish story. 

Two days after this at the same place I started out to the 
Snow Islands on a fishing excursion with four southern Illi- 
nois gentlemen and their wives. I having previously told them 
that I would carry them to a place where they would catch more 
fish in one day's time than they had ever seen caught, prom- 
ising that I would pay the expenses of the entire party, them- 
selves and wives, if I did not prove what I said. 

The understanding was that all of the fish that we caught 
were to be brought to the hotel, and that they were to be 
brought there cleaned, and that they were to be cooked, that it 
was false economy and not the proper thing to' do to catch fish 
and bring them out for the women to clean. One of the party 
volunteered to "clean all the fish that we will catch," and he 
was the best Nimrod of the party and the man who- would 
rather do anything else than perform the self-imposed duty. 
When we started, unbeknown to them, I hired a negro* fish 
cleaner, who brought with him two or three twenty-five pound 
sacks of salt. The darkey came up to me and said : 

"Boss, whar shall I put de salt?" 

I said, "Go down stairs and ask the steward." 

My friends looked at me and then at one another, and I 

This is going to be a day for fish deals and I will teach you 
how dangerous it will be to question any of my fish stories 
again as you have in the past." 

The boat we had was in good command and under charter 
for the day. We ran into a good cove between twoi of the 
many hundreds and thousands of islands up there and the 
wheel quit turning and we were told to go fishing. In four 
hours' time one man had caught three hundred and twelve, 
another had caught two> hundred and eighty, another had 
caught two hundred and sixty, and I from having two 


hooks on my line had caught four hundred and nine, and our 
judge was working with the nigger cleaning the fish and salt- 
ing them down in a box and he declared it was fun and would 
not allow any of us to interfere. He was a man of wealth 
as well as humor and legal learning and moved that we 
adjourn and go home that night, which we did. 

He paid every cent of the expenses and "set 'em up" in 
good style besides, and the last I ever heard of him was declar- 
ing that though I was the greatest fish liar on earth I dealt in 
the most remarkable fish truths he ever heard. 

In my day I have seen many strange things and in consid- 
erable numbers that no one else or but very few ever saw. 
I have seen a scow, thirty feet long, fourteen feet wide and two 
feet deep, moored in a school of mullet at night when all 
around was dark, in Corpus Christi Bay, when by the raising 
of a lantern in the center of the boat and hitting the side 
with the oars, in five minutes the boat would be filled, and in 
ten minutes be sunk by the mullets jumping into it if the light 
was not lowered. This boat load of mullet would be oared 
or pushed to' the shore where the people of Live Oak and 
adjoining counties (the hog" counties of Texas) had driven 
thousands of hogs there to be fattened on the mullet that were 
thrown out as the high tide receded. 

Now the man living 1 on the west coast down in Florida 
or three hundred miles north of there in Georgia and South 
Carolina, must not confound these Texas mullet with that of 
their sort that are caught by the millions in the seine on the 
coast down there, dry salted and sold to the farmers who come 
from two to three hundred miles in their one-horse, two- 
wheeled and their two^-horse and four-horse rigs for these 
salted mullets, for which they pay two cents apiece and which 
they sell for "three for a quarter" and take pay in country 
produce or live on the wagon load themselves the year through. 

I have seen at one time as far as the eye could reach and 


could have been measured one hundred and eight or fifteen 
miles in distance, one and a quarter miles wide, on the beach of 
Corpus Christi Island, Texas (representing the high and low 
tide) millions of sea turtles that would average from three to 
six hundred pounds each and possibly more millions than there 
ever were of buffalo on the great American plains. 

These turtles came here from the mighty deep and the 
islands of the sea beyond to deposit their eggs in the sandy 
seashore, coming with high tide, and as the tide receded the 
turtles would slide in under one another so as to look like 
shingles on a roof. They would deposit from nine to twenty 
eggs in a hole they made in the ground, how I cannot tell you, 
and when high tide came they floated out and other millions 
would come. The turtles only came there about six days in 
the year to lay their eggs. Where they went no> man knoweth. 
In twenty-one days' time the top eggs in the turtle's nest of 
eggs hatched and a turtle about the size of an ordinary man's 
thumb commenced moving around and by millions they would 
dazzle the eye, confuse the vision and craze the comprehension. 

The high tide came in and they, the young turtles, floated 
out with it to go no man knoweth no more than he doth where 
the wind listeth, and in a very few minutes after the receding 
of that tide other millions were hatched that went out on the 
next high tide, and thus for six or eight days the turtle hatch- 
ing business continued. 

It was near this place that the great Gail Borden of Fort 
Bend County, Texas, before he had made himself famous as 
the inventor of condensed milk, established his turtle can- 
ning factory, that failed to pan dividends from the fact that 
the turtles only came a few days in the year. 

I have but one more fish story that I will tell, and that 
will end it, not but that I could fill a book bigger than this 
will be all relating to fish. It will be located between the sur- 
face and three hundred or a thousand feet in the deep of the 


sea — live fish of all sizes and colors in their native state, 
viewed from a glass-bottomed boat near the Catalina Islands 
in the Pacific Ocean off the California coast, which no one will 
view but to ever afterwards think of with surprise, wonder 
and delight. 

The man of brains and level-headedness who will go there 
and see that sight will come away with more to think oif and 
about than any one other sight he might see in a generation 
of time. To my reader I will say, Do not go on a boat where 
there is a babbling crowd of girls, boys and women who must 
talk, but pick your crowd or charter a boat and go by your- 
self with pusher and guide. The man of observation and 
brains will be so absorbed by what his guide will tell that he 
will be very apt to use curse words if women and children 
from their incessant babbling keep him from hearing the story 
of that peculiar fish that he sees down in the deep, that he 
knows no other man could ever hook, and if he hooked he 
would not know how to unhook, but would be very like the 
man who caught a bear and who appealed to his neighbors 
to come and help him let loose. 

I have been high up in the air ballooning and I have been 
at great depths in mines and in many peculiar conditions and 
positions viewing the world from high mountain tops, etc, but 
never before have I felt such peculiar unrealistic conditions 
and feelings as I did looking downwards through this glass- 
bottomed boat for hundreds and hundreds of feet as we floated 
over mountain peaks and across great chasms, as one might 
float over the Rocky mountains in a balloon and look down- 
wards. So transparent is the water that at times you can 
see six or eight hundred feet to the bottom as easily as you can 
see only a few in broad daylight. Not until you have seen 
this sight will you become a past master in the art of telling 
fish truths. 

Now as to snakes. I was once running a line through the 


San Jacinto swamps in Texas where the switch cane was some 
taller than my head, and here and there mammoth oak trees 
grew. The line passed through a swampy country, with every 
now and then a bayou from six to ten feet wide and twenty 
or thirty feet deep, the surface of the water coming near to 
that of the land. My eye was fixed on the object my com- 
pass had directed, and using the Jacob staff as a parter ofc the 
hard switch cane which I commenced going through, my com- 
pass under my arm, old surveyor fashion, my chain man close 
in the rear, I came to one of these little bayous, in the middle 
of which and filling about one-half of the water space, lay 
what I supposed to be an old log. Not looking at it carefully 
I made a step, and in half a second more of time my feet would 
have been on the back of an alligator, that as I remember now 
from first sight was several times longer than the longest fence 
rail I ever saw and about the size of a large saw-log. In an 
instant, on seeing me its head and tail were in the air. No 
man should ask why I so early had grey hair. 

Previous to this experience, myself and brother, whoi were 
strangers in that part of Texas and were on the lookout for 
a good country to settle in, concluded to camp at Hodges Bend 
in Fort Bend County — this was only a few weeks before our 
taking the railroad tie contract referred to> elsewhere. We 
staked our West Texas bronchos, who had never heard, seen 
or thought of an alligator, much less one thousand of them, 
on the prairie while we fixed ourselves to have a good sleep, 
barring the mosquitoes, under the wide spreading limbs of 
the majestic live oaks that lined the lake. Fortunately we 
had thrown our saddles down on the ground under a limb, 
which w T e reached by springing at a moment of great peril. 

We made our coffee and broiled our bacon and had eaten 
our supper, in fact had made our beds down when we heard a 
noise that was somewhat of a mixture between the bellowing 
of a mad bull, the lowing of a stampede of wild Texas steers, 


the roaring of a lion and the growling of a hyena, all com- 
bined in one. We never had heard before that an alligator 
was capable of making any sort of a noise, in fact we had 
heard very little about alligators and knew next to> nothing 
about them. We were quickly educated and were wonderfully 
wise before the next morning. In less time than it takes to tell 
it we were up in that live oak tree, springing from the ground 
to the limb, which we reached, and if there were fifty there 
were five hundred alligators rolling over one another to get 
the bread and bacon that we had, and when they quit the 
ground and went back to the water there was so> little left 
of our bridles and saddles, and nothing at all of our blankets, 
that we were happy to have anything of ourselves left. Our 
saddle : bags and contents were all riddled. We went to Hous- 
ton, a distance of twenty miles or more, across a trackless 
prairie, never daring to tell our alligator experience to any one. 

A few years back I was in the smoking department of a 
sleeper going westward over the "Sunset Route" between New 
Orleans and Burwick's Bay, now Morgan City, La. There 
were several gentlemen present and I never have been back- 
ward in coming forward in any sort of a congregation of men. 
I asked if there was any man present who) could remember 
when this road was built, and there was none. Taking them 
all in as being under thirty-five, I told them that I was going 
to tell them a truth in the way of what might be termed a 
snake, fish or alligator story. 

In 1857 when this road was built by the Harris Morgan 
Company to shorten their line between New Orleans and Gal- 
veston — by four hundred miles — I was on the first train that 
passed over it with passengers, in charge of the Express Com- 
pany's safe. At places on the road where the filling had to be 
brought a long distance there were anywhere from one to a 
thousand alligators for each railway tie, and it frequently 
required two engines to take a train of twelve cars through 
on this level road, the cow catcher on the front engine being 


so loaded down as to all but scrape the rails. The alligators 
came from the swamps cm both sides to> sun themselves on 
the track and I have seen them rolled off on both sides of the 
train passing, as many as five hundred or ten thousand 011 
each side of the road twice a day in a distance of twenty miles. 

No headlight on the front of an ordinary bicycle could 
shine as did the eyes of the people in that smoker, looking at 
each other as well as at me, when a gentleman said : 

"Yes, sir, I believe it. My father was a locomotive engi- 
neer who ran on this road at that time and he told me as much." 

It was suggested to the gentleman that it was his turn to 
produce, but he happened to be one of that sort that does not 
believe in paying for truths. 

When leather became scarce and it was found that alligator 
hides were valuable, the hunter and the trapper of the North 
and West soon played havoc with the alligators from the 
Rio Grande and up all around the Gulf Coast, and today it 
would be no easy matter to see one though you spent weeks 
trying. Like the buffalo and the sturgeon and other disap- 
pearances that I have referred to in the past, the alligator is a 
back number — once was, is not now, never will be again, and 
nobody is going to cry because they will not reappear. 

That great American hunter and trapper as well as guide 
and scout has disappeared fro mall but the memory of old 
timers like myself, and where they have gone there is none 
to answer back. The beaver, the bear, the otter and the wolf, 
the bison and the buffalo>, the elk and the deer, the antelope 
and the mountain sheep have all disappeared in the last few 
years of my recollection, and now finally and at last their 
enemy the trapper, the hunter and the scout, has disappeared 
also and who has ever read that matchless poem : 

"Oh why should the spirit of mortal be proud?" 
but that is reminded of the past and ages past, that 

"The thoughts that we are thinking our fathers did think, 

From the death that we are shrinking our fathers have shrunk." 


Reader, if you have never read this poem ask your nearest 
editor to republish it that others besides yourself may be most 
nobly impressed. 

Many an old man have I asked, "Are there many rattle- 
snakes in this country now?" who would reply, "No, I have 
not seen one for years. I do not know what became of them." 

The old trapper, scout, guide and hunter could tell you 
and you may yet see marks of it- in the curio> stores. When 
I travel in that part of our country that in the past was noted 
for its skunks, and can hear of none having been seen or smelt 
in the past several or many years, I know that the trapper has 
been there. Hunt as I may in the few remaining wooded belts 
in my native State for my old friend, the ring tailed coon, the 
black or fox squirrel, and I will find none, for the trapper has 
been there and has done his good work. Go to those forests 
where but a few years ago wild turkeys by the thousands 
roosted, and more from because his feathers were valuable 
than all else, no wild turkey is to be found, the trapper has 
been there. 

Some years ago I was a guest at a Governor's mansion in 
Mexico, where were congregated many high state officials, 
who wore badges of high degrees, as I did, and wishing not 
only to sound the intelligence and the beliefs of the people, I 
asked if the burro, the same beast of burden that our Savior 
rode, was a native of Mexico, and all with one voice seemed to 
say "Yes," and "Is it so that what is known in Texas as the 
mustang pony was a native of this land?" And as with one 
voice they said ditto, but not one could reply to the question, 
"What bird of the greatest notoriety was a native of this 

Some said one, some said another, when in fact the wild 
turkey is a native of Mexico and was driven North by the 
Spanish invasion, and it is related that the Indian inhabitants 
and natives tell that the wild turkey was a new bird in the New 


England regions only a few years previous to the landing of 
the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock. 

The burro was imported into Mexico by the Spaniards, as 
was the horse, and as were they both to all lands the Spanish 
ever invaded and conquered, and no four-footed animal of the 
buffalo sort was found west of the Rio Grande. The deer 
was of a diminutive size there, as was the elk and the ante- 
lope, as compared with the antelope of the northern Rocky 
Mountain plains. The snakes in that country were, in times 
beyond recall, something fearful and terrible to behold or 
encounter. They have been exterminated by the Mexican 
trapper; while the birds noted for their plumage and none 
for their song have been slaughtered to decorate the bonnets 
of our fair sex, who thus wear evidence of murder, and which 
custom is fast disappearing. 

The worst snake story that I can give a personal experience 
of I will relate, and then another, and we will turn to bears. 

I was hunting for quail in a rocky and hilly country in 
company with a few friends. On passing near by a laige 
bowlder a rattlesnake sprang at me and fastened his fangs in 
my coat-tail, seeing which I flew screaming, the snake hold- 
ing on. I looked around and saw him streaming out to the 
rear, a distance that to- my eye* measured somewhere in the 
neighborhood of fifteen hundred feet. I ran out of my coat 
and, arming myself with my gun, went back to kill a fifteen- 
inch rattlesnake that had but two rattlers on his tail. 

The largest rattlesnake to be found anywhere in the United 
States that I have knowledge of was in the lower Rio Grande 
River country in Texas and Mexico. They came from the 
Colorado country floating down with the springtime freshets 
on logs and driftwood, and when striking salt water got back- 
to land, and true to the laws of nature they were seldom found 
crawling in any other direction than northward. The largest 


I ever saw measured fourteen inches in circumference and 
eight feet nine inches long, having thirty-two rattles. 

The rattlesnake that divides home with the owl and the 
prairie dog in the northwest Texas plains is a small affair 
but is a fighter and, next to the gila monster, the most poison- 
ous of all snake tribes found in the Western countries. I am 
told that they, as well as the prairie dog, have about all dis- 
appeared, their hides being tanned. 

There is a snake in Texas called the coach whip that lives 
in the ground in the prairie country. You may sneak up on 
him with a club to hit his head, and before the club reaches 
the ground he is ten feet away, so quick is he in his actions. 
They and the bird O'f paradise go together, why I cannot tell. 
I have seen a snake of this sort cross the road a few rods ahead 
of my horse, one or more of the birds o<f paradise following 
like a streak, and from their peculiar drumming sound and 
the throwing out of their feathers and the raising of their 
tails would scare any horse or living mortal on earth out of 
their wits, and in an instant they were gone. It was all done 
so quickly one could not realize what had occurred. 

From an early age I was my father's "runner" or errand 
boy, taking medicine to his patients for miles around. It com- 
menced at an age when I was barely old enough to follow a 
blazed trail through the dark forest that surrounded our home 
in all directions, and, rain, snow or sunshine, the sick had to 
be attended to, and I rather liked it, for in this way I received 
many tips in the way of big red apples, pieces o>f pie, mostly 
mince, "made last winter at hog-killing time," doughnuts and 
whatever else the good woman I came in contact with thought 
a boy was most apt to like. 

I was on to my job better even than many a Pullman car 
porter, hotel bellboy or waiter is up to this date on to his, 
equally as good anyway to the best of them. 

One evening when the sun was barely one hour high I 


was dispatched with quite a number of little powders done up 
in white paper with a string tied around them to a neighbor 
living more than a mile away, the greater distance through 
a thick forest. About half way through this forest a large 
black walnut tree had been felled and the butt cut sawed off 
and rolled a few feet beyond its cut. By this tree my trail 
went, and it was here that I got my first lessons in scouting. 
Passing by the end of the log, possibly whistling boy fashion, 
I encountered a good-sized black bear, which was as surprised 
as I was. He was standing in the trail, but raised on his 
hind feet, "Adam Zad" fashion. I was but a few feet from 
him, but I. did not take time to look at his teeth and thereby 
judge O'f his age or accurately measure the distance. I whirled 
homeward and forgot the powders in my hand and they were 

I do not remember climbing the fence. When I came to 
I was panting "Bear! Bear!" all that I could say until I got 
a fresh supply of wind. Old dad was a cruel old Virginian 
master who had no faith in what boys might say, but was 
always ready to use the strap, generally a hickory gad about 
four feet long. He was a man of his word on this score as 
well as others, and saying, "I'll show you what a Bear is!" 
he commenced to apply his gad, and I broke loose and he after 
me in the direction of the bear. He went to the fence of the 
outer field and I hollered to him., "Come on," and he came, 
and it required a little manoeuvering on my part to get around 
to his rear while his head was yet turned in the direction I 
wanted him to go*. This I did by jumping behind a big maple 
tree. With that peculiar grunt that the old man had when 
he was stirred up or mad at a boy, he came to the log and I 
was a close observer of what was going to take place, fearing 
that my interviewer, the bear, had gone away. 

Dad passed the log and had but fairly done so when up 
went a scream, the old man whirled and I flew if ever a bov 


did fly. Those people did without their medicine that night, 
and perhaps would have done better had they never received it. 
I never got that thrashing and I knew better than to tell any 
one else just then, as dad told me to let it be a closed incident, 
and he never told anybody. I told our hired man, who from 
my earliest infancy placed great confidence in me, for I never 
repeated any thing they told me about that was going on in 
the neighborhood, unlike my other two brothers, who were 
blabs from 'way back. 

I was perhaps the best informed lad in that country about ; 
what I did not know as to the doings and happenings of all 
sorts and characters would not have made an A-B-C primer 
and was not worth knowing. My mother was not much of a 
gossip, but yet we had some good ones in the neighborhood, 
and I contrived always to be near w 7 here mother and they were 
after the dishes were washed up, and I nearly always had 
verified the stories I had heard previously out in the barnyard 
or hoeing corn or piling wood. 

I was a grown-up young man and living in Southern 
Texas when I had my next bear experience. I had read Davy 
Crockett when a boy and imagined that I never would be a 
bear hunter. I had heard many Indian stories and had read a 
few, and, strange as it may appear to some, a natural born cow- 
ard as I was from my earliest recollections, I wanted to see an 
Indian on his native heath in battle array; and I did meet 
them, but I never read or heard told an acount O'f an Indian 
fight that was anything like the ones that I have experienced. 
Perhaps the difference was that my Indians were on horse- 
back and the other fellow's Indians were afoot, and that my 
Indians never got behind a tree to do their fighting in the day- 
time though they might crawl with a sage brush "top-knot" 
to get between me and my horse. The devils could do it only 
once, however, for after that my hind-sights worked as well 


as my front ones, and when in an Indian country I was look- 
ing all around at the same time. 

The wolf stories told by the odd grandmothers o>f the neigh- 
borhood, who made our home theirs alternately in the winter 
time, so scared me that I was afraid to go; in the dark room 
upstairs after the ladder had been let down — which signified 
that it was the hour for the boys to go to bed in the loft. 
There were wolves in those days and of the worst sort in 
Michigan; I saw some dead as well as live ones before leav- 
ing there. 

Notwithstanding this cowardice, I was classed as one of 
the best coon hunters and killers in the "bend of the river," 
and at an age when I had to get on a chair to> load the long- 
stocked Virginia rifle. I could save the meat of a squirrel by 
shooting his head off, though he was in the tallest tree. The 
ground hog's I killed with that rifle were past numbering. 

With a party of young men, who promised to be better 
huntsmen than they were, with a pack o>f hounds and a large 
number of other breeds of dogs, we started out for a bear hunt 
in the Brazos bottoms lying off to- the west of where Pittsfield 
was then located. We were not long in starting a bear and 
killing him. Not one of us had ever had experience in skin- 
ning a bear. Skinning a hog would be easier than a bear. W T e 
went further on and made our camp and, tying up our dogs, 
we started out with a few coon clogs to- catch opossums, and 
got badly lost and tangeld up in the woods, cane-brakes, 
sloughs, swamps, etc. 

After having spent .the night rambling around our dogs 
ran into a bunch of Mexican hogs, otherwise known as the 
peccary, of which we had heard and well knew that if we 
crippled one we had to save ourselves by climbing a tree, and 
if we failed to> take our guns with us we would be starved 
to death there, as many a hunter had been. Fortunately for 
us it was good daylight and we saw the situation and got our 


guns and ammunition, and moire fortunately still there were 
only sixteen in the pack, the last of which we killed in short 
order. Years afterwards I learned that this was the last drove 
ever seen in that "bend of the river." We killed a few bears 
and then went home all voting that we would never go bear 
hunting again, and I never did. I ran upon several afterwards 
that I had not lost and was not hunting. 

My next bear experience was when scouting with a party 
of two others southeast of the Ogon Mountains in New Mexico 
about twenty-five miles east of Los Vegas and in a very dan- 
gerous hostile Indian country. We were cooking our bacon 
and making our coffee in a concealed place, smudging our 
fires. Our horses were grazing close by, bridles hanging on 
the saddle pommels; the girths had been loosened and the 
saddles set back to rest their withers, an old Ranger's way of 
treating his horse whenever any sort of an opportunity would 

Bill Bowen was on guard, while Elam and I were doing the 
cooking act. Bill stammered, and when a little excited stam- 
mered still more, and when badly excited beat the Jews. We 
heard him making a noise and trying to say "Bear! bear!" 
He came running with a map of scare painted on his face that 
was so terrible to behold that I believe it would have fright- 
ened a regiment of wildcats:. We looked in the direction 
whence the noise came and we all sprang to our horses, leav- 
ing our guns, cook pots and all and not taking time to "cinch" 
the saddles on our horses at the sight of the ferocious animal 
that by this time was close by, not fifty yards away, and our 
demoralization may be judged from the way the horses ran 
and from the actual description given by the other two scouts, 
who like myself had never before seen a grizzly bear, except 
as pictured in our geography and as printed on the label which 
was pasted on the bottle of hair oil we youngsters used to 


grease our pates with and prized more highly when perfumed 
with the oil of cinnamon or burgundy. 

First impressions, as I have often said, are always the best 
and it is well for us that we act upon them. The first glimpse 
that I got of that bear made him somewhere in the neighbor- 
hood of thirty-five or forty feet high and eighty feet long with 
a head and mouth big enough to have taken in two of us at 
a time. The brute was detained in investigating and shaking 
up our camp equipments left behind, and in this way we got a 
few hundred yards the start of him but had not gained time 
enough to bridle our horses or settle our saddles in a proper 
position. Horses never ran faster, and, though he looked to 
be only ambling along ate ase, it seemed as though or many 
miles and more than a two hours' run we had gained but little 
on him, rather the count was in his favor when he gave up 
the chase, and we did not return to> it but to our camp and 
headquarters, where we turned in our report verbally and 
asked for reinforcements to regain our lost guns and camp 
equipments, and well it was that our general had been drink- 
ing a superior quality of whisky and was therefore in a good 
mood, for he told us to take as many volunteers as we wished, 
for, had we started out there with a less number than the 
eighty who> followed us, the Muscaleroi Apaches, who were 
lying in wait for us, would have ended our existence. 

The red devils were in ambush, but by some Divine guid- 
ance we lost the regular trail and came in between them and 
the mountains, and but for our having the advantage in the 
lay of the land and they only having bows and arrows, we 
might not have got away with so many of them, sending them 
to their happy hunting-grounds, where all good Indians are, 
and they might have interfered with the circulation of the 
blood of no few of us. Several of our horses were hit with 
their arrows. They got over it soon and we returned to camp 
with the scalps of a few of the braves together with their 



trappings. We also returned with our guns and what o>f the 
camp outfit was left, for the brute returned and demolished 
everything, but did not touch the three guns and the two six- 
shooters that were left lying on the ground. 

The track this bear made showed that his right fore paw 
had three claws cut off and two of his left hind foot claws also 
showed that he had been in a trap in his day and time. This 
bear measured fourteen feet from tip to the left hind paw. 
He was killed fourteen years after above interview, by a party 
of surveyors of the Atchison, Topeka, Santa Fe, and I trav- 
eled nearly fifteen hundred miles to offer one thousand dollars 
for that pelt. It was the property of an Englishman who gave 
eighteen hundred dollars for it and who gave me a photograph 
for nothing. 

The history of this animal as orally given by the Indians 
and Mexicans of that country was one of great length, not 
only of the story, but in the period of time that it covered. 
This animal had depopulated the ranch that had been estab- 
lished at the base of this mountain and near where we camped 
at the foot of the pass between the Oregon and the Dog 
Mountains, the ruins of which are still there. His range was 
from the Guadalupe Mountains in Texas to the Socoro' Moun- 
tains in New Mexico'. As near as could be ascertained, he was 
more than one hundred years old and had killed more than 
three hundred Mexicans and frontiersmen. I was told that 
though he would kill a Mexican, he would not eat him, because 
of the red pepper in the Mexican's make-up. 

It was said that the reason that the herd of intelope which 
ranged between the Ogon and Guadalupe Mountains in Texas 
to the Rio Grande River and Pacos River was larger and more 
fleet than any other ever known of on the American continent, 
was owing to this bear keeping all the hunters and trappers 
away. There were but few other bears in all this range. 


Besides being a man-eater he was a cannibal as respected his 
own race. 

A schoolboy once told me that the reason that a man could 
handle an elephant and the reason why a tiger and a grizzly 
bear were afraid of nothing was because the elephant's eyes 
were like field-glasses that magnified, while the eyes of a tiger 
were like the field-glasses being reversed, making everything 
look small. If this be so, it accounts for my eyes having been 
reversed on that bear, and therefore multiplied his height and 
length, but I lost nothing in getting away from his strength. 

I never lost any bears, so I have never gone out hunting 
after any, and I have only come across a few since this occur- 
rence and I whistled to keep up courage and looked the other 
way in order that the bear might do the same, and he did it 
and we went further apart instead of coming closer together. 

Years ago there was a large silver-tip bear that weighed 
over eleven hundred pounds in Union Park in Chicago behind 
two-inch steel bars and they protected again by a strong iron 
fence six feet away. Though the sign was up, 


I found great amusement in going down there and seeing the 
"greenies" from the country and the smart young ladies try- 
ing to amuse the bear by letting him smell and amble with their 
umbrella and parasol tips. He only needed about half an inch 
of the end of them between his teeth to wrest a crooked cane 
out of the hand of the stoutest man that ever looked at that 
bear, and I have been told that he had destroyed on an average 
one hundred dollars' worth of umbrellas, parasols and canes 
per day during the season the most strangers visited the park. 
This bear was a cunning old cuss, as all bears are. He 
never took anything away from any one but that he put it in 
a dark room in the rear of his cage that the next sucker that 


came up would not see what he had been doing in the way of 
having* fun for himself as well as the people on the outside 
who saw the other fellow lose his cane or umbrella. 

My New Mexico bear weighed thirteen hundred and eighty 
pounds net. I heard of one that was killed in Idaho, near 
Jackson's Hole, east of the Teuton Mountains that weighed 
sixteen hundred pounds and he was a man-killer and would 
have ended the existence of the greatest criminal lawyer o.f 
Chicago but for a shot fired, after eighty had been poured into 
him, by a personal friend of mine, who> in his day had been 
a great scout, guide, trapper and hunter, Dr. Bullen, who died 
only a few years ago and who was offered two- thousand dol- 
lars for this bear's skin. Singularly his fore paw and hind 
foot was marked the same as was the one killed in New Mex- 
ico. It is possible to locate every grizzly and silver-tip bear 
on the American continent today, as it also is the buffalo. I 
saw four of the former, six of the second and eighty of the 
latter in Yellowstone Park recently. 

Every traveler in the Yellowstone Park may see the bear 
any evening about sundown going to the hotel after his 
rations, and though very gentle in appearance, woe always 
befalls the unfortunate fool that gets between him and his 
den back in the woods. The Government protects them,, as 
well as they do- the buffalo, elk, deer, and beaver. They are all 
on the increase and the order went forth from Washington 
in 1903 that the larger and older bears should be killed and 
that the beaver should be thinned out. 

I was authorized for myself and a few friends to offer 
twelve hundred dollars for the largest bear skin, one thousand 
each for the next three largest, seventy-five apiece for ten 
beaver skins with the tails and castors preserved, and fifty 
dollars each for ten of the largest elk antlers. Some one else 
came along and left a higher bid, for we never heard from 


the skinning and were told at the time by a curio dealer that 
zi'e might stand a better chance if we doubled our offer. 

I make these statements in order that men of my age may 
tfie more properly realize the wonderful changes that have 
taken place in our day. From where I am now sitting writing 
this the sun was darkened for three days from the wild pigeons 
migrating south, the limbs of great forest trees were broken 
down by their weight — they were by the millions and millions. 
Where came they from? Where have they gone? Lived 
there an age of people on earth that has seen such wondrous 
changes as I and my age have seen? Has it been for the 
best? Let time answer. 

I have seen when a boy more than one hundred Indian 
canoes drawn out of the river on the flat here at my feet. 
They came here loaded with beaver, otter, foix and lynx fur 
(muskrats and coons were then considered valueless) that 
were sold by the Indians who had brought them here from 
up the St. Jo River and its tributaries. They were paid for in 
Spanish quarter and half dollars or English shillings, red 
beads, trinkets and whisky. An Ai beaver skin would bring 
about two dollars and an otter one dollar. Today they would 
bring from one hundred and twenty-five dollars to> three hun- 
dred each. 

The fur bought here from the Indians was shipped by 
sailing canoes to John Jacob Astor's principal fur depot located 
on Mackinac Island, and from which the furs collected on the 
Columbia River in the West and as far north as his more than 
three thousand hunters, trappers and scouts operated, were 
shipped, and the curious may see today in the old Astor House, 
now one of the leading hotels' on Mackinac Island, not only 
the old storehouse but the books and correspondence and bank 
checks that to look over carries one back into the history of 
the past as nothing else will. 

In the past few years I have paid considerable attention 


to the collection of curios and wonders of the world, art, etc., 
in the museums of our land, notably the Field Columbian 
Museum in Chicago-. As now conducted and managed (by a 
directory of college professors with all sorts of letters after 
their names signifying all sorts of degrees bestowed on them), 
all of these museums are little better than dens for professors 
who live on the donors' money, just as do the missionaries sent 
to foreign and pagan countries by the contributions made from 
our good mothers, wives and sisters and a few of the goody- 
goodies of the other sex who want to stand in with the preacher 
and the women and who do not have sense enough to differ- 
entiate between a baboon fight and a couple of lusty mules 
kicking each other. 

These wise men and professors make me sick every time 
I come in contact with them, and when I fail to provide myself 
with smelling salts I can only find relief by the immediate 
application of the mouth of a bottle labeled "Old Crow" to 

If Mr. Field of Chicago should ever take it into his head 
to change the management of the Field Columbian Museum 
in the City of Chicago and have it run on the same basis and 
the same brain-like way that his world wondrous mercantile 
establishment is — -and God grant that he may before he dies — 
then the world will rise up and call him blessed, and this is 
no- fish story but a truth that will burn the man or woman 
who undertakes to assail it. 

If some great editor like Joe Medill were to rise up in 
Chicago and, defying all criticism and opposition for a season, 
take hold of this matter as it should be taken hold of, the 
rising generation and those following them will forever embalm 
the name of that editor. 


While fish, bear and snake stories have at all times and 
will at all times to come be interesting, amusing and enter- 
taining, I must depart from the usual line and devote at least 
a chapter to insect truths. 

Few men know what an "Arkansas bee course" is. An 
expression made use oif very often when we want to> compare 
the value of something to nothing. When the bees quit mak- 
ing honey and are to be found around carcasses or water pools 
the trapper or hunter collects four or five in a gourd, and, 
going off a distance, turns one loose. The bee soars around 
and around in a circle until he attains a sufficient altitude, 
when it will strike off in a straight direction towards its home 
in a hollow cypress tree, perhaps five or six miles away, and 
in which there may be from one to> five hundred gallons of 

The trapper takes this course and follows it as long as he 
can see the bee, blazing his way on the trees and the under- 
growth he passes with his scalping knife. After going as far 
as prudent he turns loose another bee, which takes the same 
course the former one did, and the trapper runs following the 
course as it may fly in another direction to another tree and 
if so the trapper then has two bee courses. He, perhaps, may 
not be able to find either tree this season. He has blazed his 
courses, however, which consist of two' hacks or an X hack 
or an I X hack, which is recognized and respected by all other 
trappers. He returns to his course the next season and it is 
probable that he has many courses. 

The bee for its industry and great wisdom has been noted 



from all time. There are three different bees that I have come 
across in my day. There is one that burrows in the chalk 
rock and lives on the honey-dew that settles on the live oak 
and willow leaves in the droughty seasons in West Texas 
and Mexico. The largest hive oif which I have knowledge is 
on the Devil's River a few miles above where the S. P. Rail- 
road crosses the same. It reaches up a cliff for nearly one 
hundred feet from fifty to sixty feet above high water mark. 
The bee burrows in this rock and makes its cell therein, much 
as the yellow jacket or bumble-bee does on the level ground. 
Its honey is not palatable and the trapper lets that bee severely 

The bat caves in the center of northwest Texas are one 
of the wonders of this world that I have seen. We established 
niter works there during the war. They are one of the "in- 
comprehensibilities" to even those who 1 have seen them, much 
less those who have never seen or heard of them. The 
entrance to the cave is quite large; how many miles back in 
the mountain it extends no one knows. In the first cave it 
is from one to three hundred feet to> the dome. The manure 
in the cave is from eighty to one hundred feet deep and is 
as rich as any Peruvian guano< that is imported into the 
country for fertilizing purposes. 

There are three entrances to> the cave, one much larger 
than the other two combined. About four o'clock in the 
evening the bats commence flying out, and their noise is some- 
thing terrific, like the approaching of a tornadoi, for more 
than a mile from the cave. They obscure the sky from view, 
likewise the moon and stars. They come out in countless 
millions, I may say trillions, and fly oiff in the air in every 
direction. They go out this way every evening and night 
until ten and eleven o'clock. When they go back or how they 
get in the cave no» one knows or can tell. They hang on one 
another like bees that are swarming, and it was no uncon> 


mon thing to see in the cave bodies of them hanging together 
reaching down fifty or seventy-five feet. 

On entering the cave in the morning these pendant domes 
of bats were all gone. When we quit work of an evening, 
which we had to do, they would be hanging there by the 
millions, but no one could ever detect a bat going in the cave 
entrance, which seemed to be only a place of exit for them. 

The grasshoppers that have covered bloody Kansas and all 
but depopulated Texas at four different times within my recol- 
lection, are another of the wonders of the world that I have 
seen. They come only with the north winds called "northers ;" 
in the latter part of September or the first of October 
they reach the Texas coast, and if they were divided off into 
battalions of a trillion in each there would be countless 
trillions of battalions. To more thoroughly comprehend, 
imagine that for three days and three nights the sun, moon 
and stars were obscured from your vision and the ground 
around you was covered from one toi five inches deep, and 
that every sprig of green vegetation on the globe around had 
disappeared in the twinkling of an eye. 

This grasshopper comes with the wind. His wings can 
keep him in the air, but he cannot fly against it or in any 
other direction than with the wind. The first three days of 
the "norther" bring him, the next three days' "norther" 
— that may or may not come for a week or two> — pick him up 
and carry him on. There was enough of him with the first 
"norther" to paste or cover the country from five to ten inches 
deep from all the way, away up north in Alberta land to the 
Gulf of Mexico and for a width of more than three hundred 
miles. From whence they came no man knoweth, but we do 
know that nothing but boiling or cold salt water will kill 
them; freezing does not feaze them. 

T have had half a dozen for three years under a glass, 
without anything to eat, in a cool, dark place, and when 


the glass was removed they were as chipper as they were the 
day they came from whence no man shall ever tell. 

The grasshopper deposits its eggs in the ground, just like 
the mammoth sea turtle deposits hers in the sandy beach, as 
is elsewhere narrated, and it journeys on southward with the 
next north wind. Its dumping place and final end is in the 
Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. The instant that it 
strikes salt water it dies. If high up he is carried farther 
south and until he strikes the counter current or trade winds 
from the south, when he falls into* the Caribbean Sea, while 
those in the lower strata of the "norther" drop into> the Gulf 
of Mexico. 

We have a report of three ships having been sunk in the 
Caribbean Sea and in the Gulf oif Mexico in 1857 from the 
grasshoppers alighting and falling on them. The steamer 
General Rusk, of the Harrison-Morgan line of steamers from 
New Orleans, that plied between the mouth of the Rio Grande 
River and New Orleans, loaded with freight and passengers, 
in November, 1857, was saved from sinking only from its 
having been but a few miles from the eastern limit of the 
grasshopper army being blown south. 

The early warm spring days would commence hatching 
the grasshopper eggs that were laid from: the most northern 
limits of Alberta down to the sea coast of the Gulf, and they 
would be carried north with the south winds that prevailed 
at that season of the year, and after twenty-one days of age 
they would be able to attain an altitude and fly back or be 
carried back to that country from whence their progenitors 
came and that no man can tell of, no more than can any 
man, astrologer or who not, tell when they will come again. 

When I contemplate, for even a few moments of time, 
the wondrous creations of my great Creator, methinks how 
infinitely ignorant and perhaps happier must be the man who* 
knows SO' little of God's creation as to be surprised at what I 


may have related herein or at what I may hereinafter nar- 
rate, and considering this, I am not surprised that there are 
so many people on this earth that live without toil only as 
they find labor in working fools who believe only that which 
their leader, teacher, preacher or politician tells them, and who 
are like the goldfish, in the glass globe that swims around and 
sees all the globe, and seeing noi other fish, thinks that he 
is the only fish in the globe. 

Somewhere in Holy Scripture we are advised to go and 
take lessons from the bee and the busy ant; and now for an 
ant truth. 

There is a section of country in Texas, about four 
hundred miles in extent in each and either direction, and there 
are two other similarly sized sections, one in central and the 
other in the most southern part of Mexico, where the same 
ant with all the same peculiarities are to be found. They are 
particularly fond of the leaves of peach trees and of willows 
and of all other leaves containing a particle of prussic acid 
in their make-up. They are fond of the Spanish moss that 
grows on the great trees in the swamps and on the river 
courses in the South. These ants make great excavations in 
the ground, carrying the dirt to the top. I have seen several 
cavities that would measure from eighteen to twenty feet in 
diameter and twenty feet in depth, coming to within ten feet 
of the surface, and frequently over which grew great mats of 
hackberry trees all entwined and covered with mustang grape 
vines. Sometimes a live oak thicket would grow over the 
beds and in Atascosa and Guadalupe countries in Texas I 
have seen live oak trees that would measure six feet in diameter 
that had grown on these beds; the estimated age of a tree 
of that size is nearly eight thousand years. 

These cavities reach out in every direction and at a great 
depth in the earth, often covering more than an acre of 
ground, and are filled with rotted peach leaves if they could 


be had, or moss or such other leaves as would offer, afford- 
ing nourishment in the sap to be found in them, then leaving 
a perfect frame-work, preserved by the prussic acid in the 
same in which frame work the larvae or eggs are laid by 
a queen, just as the eglgs of a hive of bees are laid. 

The queen ant is from ten to fifteen times larger than- 
the largest overseer ant, and is generally twice the size of 
the cutter or of the one that brought the earth to the sur- 
face. An ant bed covering an acre of ground on a knoll 
where there is good drainage would feed froni the country 
round for a distance of many miles. 

I have traced an underground road tunnel which they had 
dug for six miles. It would be three-fourth of an inch high, 
three inches wide, and never go under two feet below and 
never come within eighteen inches of the surface, and was 
as straight in its course as any surveyor could run a line. 
One of these tunnels went down below two never-drying 
creeks. They are, when passing through light soil, made as 
impervious from above or below as any hydraulic cement pdpe 
could be made. The casing would be only one-fourth of an 
inch or less in thickness. From this tunnel side tunnels would 
be sent out to a live oak grove, a mile or more off and to the 
right or left, and from' those side tunnels laterals would be 
sent out to the right and left coming up in the center of a 
newly planted peach orchard or whatever the farmer had 
planted that they liked. 

They would often make a road on the top of the ground, 
and especially so 1 over rocky grounds to a willow thicket, a 
peach orchard or a clump of trees that had Spanish moss in 
abundance on them. This trail, two inches wide, would be as 
straight as an arrow; on the right side the goers on the left 
the comers passed with pieces of moss an inch long or the 
fourth, or eighth of a peach leaf. The comers and goers on 
a trail three hundred yards long were so numerous that 


they could strip a large peach orchard in one night. If this 
is "incomprehensible" to you do not read further for I am 
going to carry you into such deep water that you will drown, 
as I am not yet through with the ant truths, and there are 
other ants besides these that are called the cutting ants, of 
which I am going to tell more. 

These ants would not strip a peach orchard more than 
twice a year, for they know that if they did they would not 
have any leaves next year. Their cunning and wisdom is 
beyond the ken of man. No flowers or shrubbery or fruits 
could be grown where they were, and they would seen go to 
any place where these things were planted. They never work 
in the daytime, excepting in the fall of the year, when it is 
pleasant, or in the spring of the year, when their fences need 
repairing by reason of the freshets and the washouts, when 
they work both night and day, and the amount that they 
can do passes the comprehension of man. An old man got 
on to a poison, cyanide of potash, with which he poisoned all 
of his family, and from which I have suffered from that day 
to this with what the doctors call tonsilitis that never fails 
to tonsil when I over-exert myself or from exposure take cold, 
and I believe that there are thousands of others who suffer as 
I have from the same cause, for I smell the accursed stuff in 
about every drug store I go into. 

Neither the water nor the poison diminished the number 
of the ants or protected the foliage on the old man's trees. I 
was the first one to discover that these ants never built a bed 
on ground that had any water anywhere near around that 
was higher. 

Our well -was sixty feet deep; in this we put a force 
lift pump driven by a powerful windmill and a one-inch hose, 
the end o*f which I inserted in an ant tunnel, and the water 
ran in there continuously for three days and three nights 
before it overflowed from the top cavity through a tunnel that 


was cut by the well diggers many years before, and the well 
was filled up with ants and the pump quit pumping and the 
mill quit milling, and by this I demonstrated that ants could 
be drowned out but not scalded or poisoned. I further found 
that by forcing sulphuric acid gas in their tunnels by powerful 
blowers no ant could live therein, and I was not long in 
putting this find to all possible financial account, and had I 
been living in a land not subject to droughts and dis- 
asters in the way of tornados and cyclones and cotton worms 
and bowl worms and corn weevils and every other curse God 
could visit on any country, I would have become a millionaire 
from destroying this pest, and as it was, I made a little but 
came near being irretrievably ruined from having organized 
and backing up the Oriental Ant Exterminating Company, 
with a view of going to South America, where these same 
ants make it impossible to populate the country and also to 
Syria and the Holy Land and to 1 parts of Africa where 
branches of this ant family have possession of all the better 
land and keep the people in great want and poverty. 

It is said that "fortune favors the brave" and that "all 
things come to him who> waits." I always did like old General 
Braxton Bragg of the Confederate army, .who was known 
from the day oif the battle of Buena Vista as "a little more 
grape and canister, Captain Bragg." I went on East and 
negotiated with my friend General Bragg, and was to have 
paid him a large salary per annum and all expenses to go 
to Palestine and the East generally. He came to Galveston 
on his way to my place in the interior and took a rest there 
for a few days, when he was lionized by the good people 
of that city and the ladies in particular. 

General Bragg was one of the few real up-and-down 
fighting, planning, sober and industrious generals that there 
were in the Confederate army, though the two Johnstons and 
General Lee were world favorites. Yet I would at any time 


rather have trusted the fate of the country to General Bragg 
than to them, as in my opinion he had more statesmanship 
in his makeup and equally as much of military acumen. 

Bragg told no* one what his mission was and the schemers 
and promoters and moneyed men behind the Gulf, Colorado 
and Santa Fe Railroad made him an offer to take charge of 
their Third House members and see that the proper legisla- 
tion was had; which he did and where I was very glad to 
meet him, as I needed his services in matters heretofore 
related. In this way my ant speculation fell through as far as 
I was concerned, saving and excepting that I came across a 
man, the like of whom I have always been hunting, who* knew 
more about my business than I did and who had the required 
amount of money to run it, and I sold out, and in this case, 
as in about all others where the man having the money had 
less sense, the business went under. 

No ant ever worked in the bed where I had done my work, 
yet I know of where they returned years afterwards where 
others did the work. In this same country in which these 
ants are located there is another ant, which I will call the 
sugar ant. 

He works only by night and burrows deep in the ground 
and seems to) pull the hole in after him. He is found only 
where there are trees and preferably grape vines, and is in 
numbers by the trillions ; is between one-half and three- 
fourths of an inch long, of a pale red color, and neither bites 
nor stings. He is the best engineer of all insects or little 
animals in God's creation, not excepting man. He has no eye 
to see or nose to smell, but a brain to divine and locate — a 
power beyond comprehension. Nothing I ever met in life 
equals this ant's ability to> do real cussedness. 

We had lost one-half of three barrels of sugar: — the 
ordinary old fashioned brown — and could find no> trace of how. 
I always had a sweet tooth (being 1 rocked in infancy in a 


maple sap trough had something to do with this). Coming 
home one night from a coon hunt, I concluded toi goi into 1 the 
smoke-house and get some sugar to eat with my corn pome. 
I lit a candle to see my way more clearly. I ran up against 
somewhere from between twenty-two million, five hundred 
and ninety-six thousand and twice that number of ants, every 
one of the little red devils having a chunk of sugar on his 
shoulder. In half a minute's time the last one had gone down 
underneath the ground sills of the smoke-house and into their 

Though I knew ill would come to me if I reported my 
find, yet I told it at the breakfast table and but that the 
old man was not as able to thrash me as he once had been, 
he might have thrashed me for going to the smoke-house after 
sugar. However, the next night by going there as I had done, 
my ant truth was confirmed. It was decided to> run ropes 
down from the beams above, making a swinging platform, and 
put the sugar thereon. I went out there at two o'clock the 
next morning with a candle and the ants had gone up the 
side of the smoke-house on to the ceiling, down the rafters 
to the cross beams, down these to the sugar barrels, and when 
my light flashed on them they all dropped off the platform and 
scampered into their holes, but not one dropped the chunk of 
sugar it was carrying. 

We -then tarred the ropes and before midnight they had 
the tar all covered with sand and gravel and were at work 
on the sugar. We then made a table out of the platform and 
put the posts down in the center of pans that held ten gallons 
of water; the water was eight inches deep between the rims 
of the can, and the posts were ten inches apart. In three 
night's time they had six passageways covered and filled and 
they were sugaring their nests. The Union Pacific Railroad 
filling in the cut-off from Salt Lake City West recalled to my 
mind these sugar ants. When we put the sugar in tin cans 


or glass jars the ants bothered it no> more. They had no drills 
to bore holes through the glass. 

The other ants, called grain ants, will depopulate great dis- 
tricts of country in the sections bounded as before described 
unless they are exterminated, and this cannot be done by 
scalding, by killing from poison or by water, and, if I were 
to tell the people how it can be done and publish it to the 
world free, it would be so simple that no* one would do it 
and would question where I get on and where I get off. By 
covering these ant beds with a heavy mulching of straw, so 
heat may not hatch the eggs, the job is done. 

If I were to fill my book with other strange things that 
I have seen in my day, I fear that my reader would be weary. 
One more and I will quit To have printed this book on the 
old Washington press, as printing was done when I was a boy, 
and to have done it in the time the man who did the work con- 
tracted to do it in, would require nearly one hundred thousand 
dollars' wotrth of presses and three thousand men and women. 
There are millions of people who consider themselves intel- 
ligent who* would not believe the statement I would make 
respecting the time taken for the publication of this book. I 
own an interest in a press that, worked by a man and a boy, 
turns out more work per hour than any three thousand men 
on earth could have turned out when I was a boy. 

I stand with a noble compeer, a worthy associate, com- 
panion and friend on this plane and looking back yonder fifty 
years, called leagues ago, I see what I and they had to do 
in order to make a living, and such a living as it was! and 
then look on all the trails and byways and avenues and roads 
that lead to where we now stand. Would anybody be sur- 
prised at our looking at each other with most wonderful 
admiration, esteem and respect, each for the other, considering 
that it was we who did it? And then, turning round, we 
look at that higher beacon of fame, of honor and of glory, 


shining plainly to our vision less than fifty leagues or years 
beyond, all of which can only be attained by and from the 
possibilities that we have planted and established, and we look 
around to our right and left and see our noble sons storming 
those heights, carrying on and forward the banner that we 
brought here, going as bravely on and forward in their work 
as we did in ours ; lives there one to doubt that truly heavenly 
joy permeates our very hearts' fiber? 

"If such there be, go mark him well, 
For him no minstrel raptures swell." 

Most of my book has been written near my birthplace; 
all of it has been inside of a few weeks and while traveling 
on the plains from ocean to ocean and from the Gulf to the 
Lakes, denominated by Proctor Knott as being the "unsalted 
seas of America," and while crossing the Atlantic and doing 
the Continent, and it has all been written from recollection 
and not from notes or books of reference, therefore it can be 
properly called by the name that I have given it. Nothing is 
more natural than that the carping critic, the suck-egg hound 
who> is good for nothing else than to make a noise and to 
attract attention, the educated ape, the trick-taught baboon or 
the kicking mules that have no* pride of ancestry and no hope 
0)f a descendant, should assail me, and that such as these will 
I well know and I would be a fool to doubt, but when me- 
thinks they are the sort who' devastate a country, burning 
down the ancestral log cabin and leaving nothing but waste 
and desolation behind them, I am more happy in knowing 
that I have been a constructor, a builder, a blazer of the way 
and a John the Baptist in the wilderness, preparing for the 
one who comes after me, the latchets of whose shoes I may be 
unworthy to unbuckle, I ami more happy for I know that if 
there is no future, no hereafter, and no» reward for me, and 
that there is no* world to go to, yet have I made this world 


the better by having been in it; and if there is a brighter 
future, of which I have no doubt, then I will be there at 
the harvest time, and though there, like here, I may not be 
able to whistle or sing a tune, I will bring water and flowers 
to those whoi do and are, and will in the happy hunting- 
ground find fields of pleasure vastly more extensive than I 
have found in this earth, in ministering to the wants of those 
who are with me, as well as providing for the wants of those 
who come after me, for truly I have found it more pleasur- 
able on this earth to give than to receive. 

As there is a strain or train of mirth and fun that per- 
vades every soul on earth, there is in me, and that I have 
had sugar in my tea and coffee, and at times also cream, in 
other words my pleasures and enjoyments and sweets as well 
as sours, be there none to doubt. 

From my earliest infancy it was my habit to "butt in," 
the first report of which was left when I was a boy four 
years old, when I told a woman, who had told my mother in 
my hearing, of her misfortunes from having gone to a place 
when she did : "If you had stayed at home like mother does, 
it would not have happened." And for which mother gave 
me a slap and the old man would have given me a tanning had 
he have been told. 

I heard an older hlalf brother say when I was five years 
old that "the fools are not all dead yet," which I thought was 
uncommonly smart and repeated it to an old man, a neighbor, 
who was telling my father how he had sowed his wheat in the 
wrong phase of the moon and for which in common parlance 
I soon thereafter caught . 

That I have been more pulled up and kicked up than I 
have been brought up and educated, and that what I have 
learned as well as what I have acquired in a wordly way was 
from some sort oif painful and costly personal experience, no 
one will question whoi has even known me. I never could 


sing a song, paint a picture or tell a story as any one else 
could or would, and I never have had to carry a branding- 
iron and firepot around with me to brand anything of my 
own, though I often have haid to appeal to the law for the 
recovery from thieves of that which I had made, built or 

Often have I thought that I should have been a lawyer, 
then I would not have had to pay such fees to the profes- 
sion as I have paid in my day. Then again I have thought 
that I should have been a physician that I might have been 
able to save from the clutches of quacks more than I have. 
I might have been a preacher but for truths that I have here- 
tofore stated in this my book. I could easily have been a 
leader but from having seen the demagogism and hypocrisy 
of the great majority of leaders whom I have analyzed in 
my life. Any man born of ordinary foxy cunning and with 
a gift of gab can easily become a leader in any community 
in which he has lived and by resorting to cunning can live 
along and lead the masses of ignorant mortals who are too 
lazy to think, to plan and to work for themselves. 

Things have changed in every respect and in all direc- 
tions and in every way and in all fashions within my recol- 
lection and I have not been slow in changing with them, 
wherefore I often in looking back see the fool acts in my past 
life and find consolation only in the fact that my compeers 
and associates were as great fools or even worse than I was. 
Well can I say fools as well as misery love company. 

I believe that he who cannot see the fool in himself in 
the past never builds even a log cabin or a hut for the want 
of wisdom, which in mortals like myself can only be acquired 
by experiences, though dear be the schooling. I often find 
great pleasure in associating and commingling with people 
who have lived a life of toil, trouble and anxieties without 
accomplishing any good purpose on earth. They come and 


they gp and leave no 1 trace or trail behind them save and 
accept that it may be seeds of weeds like purslane, to torment 
the tiller of the grounds that they have cleared. 

Who plants but to be planting without regard as to the 
harvest is the mortal who has no aim in life and can be com- 
pared only to the "drone" in the busy hive which is said to 
be there only to eat the over-supply of honey the busy bee 
brings in, and we are toild — how true it may be I know not, 
because I never could have to do with bees but that I was 
stung) — the drones are killed off when the supply of honey 
becomes normal. If the human race would only kill off their 
drones at the proper time, I might have been able to have 
had honey on my plate through life more often than I have 
had and would not always have had to eat my buckwheat 
without it. 

It has been the desideratum of scientists, of statesmen and 
of great men since time that history gives no report of how 
civilization could be advanced without making the rich richer 
and the poor poorer. I have lost no time trying to fathom or 
elucidate this proposition. The question with me has always 
been how I could become richer without robbing some one 
of his riches, but rather by increasing the same, and if I have 
been a failure on this line it was because the men that had 
the riches may have believed in silence but not in division, 
no more than he believed in division after multiplication. 

A common swindler and wag behind the bars was asked, 
"Why are you there?" 

"For drying snow and selling it for salt," was the reply. 
And again, "For having rented my ground out to a man who 
planted it in vegetables and I turned it up on edge and planted 
the other side in onions." 

A judge before passing sentence on a criminal asked him 
how he came to take the watch. He said : 

"I was sick and the doctor gave me some medicine and 


told me if I would take time it would cure me, so> I took the 

He got further time from the judge. 

Elsewhere in my book I told how I was cured from taking- 
things without asking for them, and through life I have never 
sought to get something for nothing, as so many of my fellow 
men that I have distanced in the race of life have ever been 
on the lookout for. 

Some years back I was piroimoting an enterprise that, to 
be successful, must reach all the people — the ground sill folks, 
if you please, in all the land from shore to> shore and as high 
up the mountain as I could reach. I was offered the names 
of the Louisiana Lottery Company's patrons that were classi- 
fied by the postoffices throughout the whole United States 
and Canada. Thinking that they were the sort of cattle that 
would nibble at my grass and that even before the seed was 
sown, I got, and most naturally, the lists, in the State where 
I had the greatest number of acquaintances. 

However my scheme turned out and what there was of 
"sheaves" in it for me in the way of dividends need not be 
told here. In looking over this list I found that in the town 
not many leagues away from where I was born the names 
in the club formed there, who' paid their five dollars every 
month] over to the agent of the Lottery Company in their 
place and had SO' paid for four years, included the names of a 
number of my early day acquaintances and 1 found similar 
lists and names in every place that I had become acquainted, 
and I made it a business to got and see how many of these 
club members were men of affairs and had wealth either at 
home or in the shape of a bank account, and I found on inves- 
tigation not a single one but that was just such a 
farmer and hard-worker as I have described elsewhere in my 
book, and I further found that there was not one of them 
that knew more about the history of the country and theology 


and politics and science and geology and medicine and rail- 
road building and how to raise a. family and how to 1 raise big 
crops than I ever hope to know about any or either, and that 
there was not one of the entire crew that I would have loaned 
a dollar to on the best security that they could have offered, 
not even excepting that which they the most prized. 

They lived like paupers, year in and year out, but they 
never failed to get the five dollars a month for the Louisiana 
Lottery swindlers who traveled the: wide world over in 
elegance, ease, comfort and grandeur, while their poor dupes 
toiled on and on; and thus it was from the beginning, ever 
has been and ever will be, and I give it as my candid opinion 
that he who* tries to change this condition of: affairs is the 
one whoi will die poor if not repentant. Because George 
Washington could not lie, in my opinion, he is entitled to 
no great amount of credit; but he who can lie and will not 
is. I have never claimed any credit in this deal, for I am 
reminded by the presence o>f a gentleman who, years ago, on 
hearing me tell a great truth) said, "Nothing is lost from 
Theo's telling it." 

When a boy about fourteen, General Sam Houston, of 
whom I had read — and who had not in the times of my boy- 
hood days — was billed toi make a speech in our town, Seguin, 
Texas, at a great barbecue that was being given in his honor 
— he was then United States Senator. My "old man" was 
opposed to everything on earth that gave pleasure to boys, 
therefore precious little of my time was spent in fishing, and 
nothing that I received in the way of pleasures came by his 
consent. We kept from our younger brother and sisters and 
from the "old man" all knowledge of the coming of Sam 
Houston, and we planned a scheme that won by which we 
were enabled to see as well as hear his great speech and fill 
up at the great barbecue. 

We had to) deceive the "old man" and we did it in good 


style by bribing a cowboy to tell him that "Bessie Brown/' 
an old cow which had been lost nearly a: year, an animal that 
he put great value on, though only a Texas scrub, had been 
seen at a certain place about fourteen miles off, a watering- 
place where the cattle came but once a day to drink. With 
this information we two boys were told to saddle our horses 
and start out in the morning early, taking with us a day or 
twoi's supply of "corn dodger," rancid bacon and coffee. We 
lost no time in getting off. 

Our only trouble now was that two of our neighbors who 
were on intimate terms with dad and particular "blabbers" 
would see us at the barbecue and become informers. We 
watched for them and kept away from where we thought 
they might be. Perhaps it will be interesting to tell what 
a Texas barbecue was and how condutced. 

A ditch sixty feet long, four feet wide and as deep was 
filled with live oak wood and fired and burned down to coals, 
then clean poles were laid across over the embers, and on 
these were spread quarters of beeves, mutton, pigs, turkeys 
and chickens, and fish if any could be caught. The meats 
were turned over and over again, on this occasion by half a 
do'zen or more stalwart negro* men with pitchforks, while as 
many more came along basting it with well-spiced, what one 
man calls, "wallering stuff." I pity the boy who 1 never had 
a chance to get a good day's work in at one of these barbe- 
cues where such meat as this was served. On this occasion 
it took twenty beeves, sixty muttons, two or three hundred 
chickens, half as many turkeys, besides corn pomes by the 
wagon-load and green corn and new sweet potatoes by the 

The tables were long and quite sufficient to> accommodate 
fifteen hundred people, who, when the master of ceremonies 
blew that long tin horn that had done service at many a 
Methodist camp-meeting, rushed as for dear life. We two 


had played for position and got there, and though we had 
contributed nothing to its get up, we got our part of some 
one's else contribution, and ever afterwards blessed the man 
who invented the barbecue. 

I had seen only a very few great men, though I had read 
about many. General Sam Houston came up to his picture 
recommendation in every respect and his speech was in keep- 
ing with what I had expected of him from a boy's standpoint. 
Of the many men of my acquaintance, General Sam Houston 
was "the noblest Roman of them all." No truly good men, 
in my opinion, ever became acquainted with him but to 
respect him, as all good men should be respected. There are 
few men on this earth who come as far from being a man- 
worshiper as I am, and as a general proposition I have no 
use for a man who> is in any sense an idolizer of any human, 
living or dead. 

General Sam Houston's speech on this occasion was that 
of a soldier, statesman and patriot, and few were his equal 
when it came to dealing out left hand blows to his enemies, 
for he had them in Texas and they were of a class that 
added honor to any man who* had their enmity, because he 
was no boodler or grafter. 

A few years after this I became personally acquainted with 
the General, and while he was Governor of the State, I might 
say, in one sense at least, I was his protege. He was a Union 
man and thereby brought down upon himself the hatred of' 
all such as composed the Committee of Public Safety, of 
which I have previously given an account, and a good account 
of one Committee of Public Safety in one county stands for 
all others in all counties in the State. These Committees of 
Public Safety were quite a different class of men and of altoi- 
gether different characters as compared with those great and 
noted committees that promoted the Revolutionary War and 
that were organized in all communities from Maine to> South 


Carolina. They had what was called "traveling teachers" in 
those days, who rode from station to station, going North, 
telling the different. communities of how the spirit was spread- 
ing in communities that they had passed through. One or 
more of these "outriders" started from the north end at the 
same time an equal number started from the south, end, and in 
this way the spirit of* the Revolution was kept up among our 
forefathers, which resulted in the establishment of this nation 
of nations, the outrider and teacher, guide and director, and 
may I not say, sponsor of all nations on earth today. 

An old uncle who had served under the flag and at York- 
town, told me when a boy this narrative or history : "An 'out- 
rider' from North Carolina who was on his return from a 
trip away up in Maine, told of the battle of Bennington, 
where the Green Mountain Boys met the red coats, as fol- 
lows: These New Englanders, these round-heads and Puri- 
tans' said he, 'got into battle with a Bible. They first sing 
and then pray, and O God ! how they fight.' " 

Not so with any oif the Texas Committees of Public 
Safety. When the Secession Convention was called in Aus- 
tin and met in the hall of the Lower House and everything 
was primed and ready for the vote, General Houston, the 
Governor of the State, was invited in to see the State voted 
out of the Union. He was given a seat below the President 
of the Convention (O. M. Roberts, an original secessionist 
and possibly the greatest jurist that ever lived in America, the 
Chief Justice otf the Supreme Court, not only in the State but 
of the Republic, up toi that time the author of thirty-two 
volumes, and more since, that is quoted from more extensively 
than any State or United States Supreme Justice is cited), 
not by his side as a mark of honor, but at his feet as a mark 
of disrespect, and there this old patriot, sage, statesman and 
noble Roman sat leaning on his cane. 

The crowd hissed when Thockmorton of Collen rose and 


voted "Nay," the first vote polled for the Union after three 
hundred had responded "Aye" toi their names as they were 
called, which hissing continued for many minutes without an 
effort being made on the part oif the President to stop it. 
When the noise had abated Thockmorton rose in his seat 
and said : 

"Mr. President : Patriots tremble when the rabble hiss." 

And it was said that the first tears that had ever been 
seen in Sam Houston's eyes were observed. Thockmorton had 
been a member of Congress and was again after the war and 
never filled a public position or station but that it reflected 
honor, not only on himself, but his constituents as well. 

We two boys spent two days away from home having a 
good rest from the toil of the farm and came home without 
the cow. It had rained heavily and we told father that the 
water was so plentiful around over the prairie and in "Rogue's 
Hollow" that she did not need to come to> the pool for water. 
When it dried up we had another three or four days' rest from 
toil and from work that never brought recompense. The cow 
originally cost twenty dollars, and we boys got moire than 
one thousand dollars' worth of rest and information from 
hunting that cow, which was never found. 

The habits of some people are wonderfully illustrated in 
a truth I must now relate of the Texas stock long-horned steer 
and his relatives. The average cows would goi about two 
miles from a watering-place for grass, which would become 
eaten off. Salt was a scarce article in any of the soils or 
streams in the principal ranges of the southwest and nothing 
would more entice a cow or Texas steer from his accustomed 
beat than salt. Knowing this we would take a forty or fifty 
foot cottonwood log and haul it away out in the prairie and 
half a mile beyond where the cattle usually ranged and then 
rope a few of the oldest cows, whose children unto the third 
and fourth generation would always follow her, tagging along 


behind to see what was going to be done with "grandma," 
and sometimes a four-or-five-year-old descendant would show 
up foir fight. These cows would be pulled and dragged to 
where the log had been hauled and where with an ax we had 
boxed holes two feet apart and filled them with salt. 

However much the .cow was excited and made mad by 
the treatment she was receiving, and her descendants dicto, 
when her nose was pushed down on to the salt she bellowed for 
joy, and so did the rest of the herd that quickly found the 
salt in the other boxes in the log. In this way we got our 
herds on pastures new and green. 

We called them the licking logs, and every man had his 
licking log and intfiis way taught his cattle to bunch together 
and watched their increase and multiplication, and should an 
unbranded yearling get in that ground a second or third time, 
the brand iron that belonged to that licking log band made 
him bellow from the burn on his hip. When the grass had 
been eaten out around the licking log it would be hauled a 
quarter of a mile further out on the paririe, where there 
was new, fresh and untrodden grass. When the cattle came 
from the creek or watering-place two or three miles off and 
found the log had been taken away, then we boys saw fun, 
for it would seem that all the old steers and cows turned in 
and accused each other for having been the cause of its dis- 
appearance, and from lowing and pawing the earth and bel- 
lowing and bawling, fearful was the scene to behold and not 
until we had roped another cow and pulled her away, as on 
the first occasion, to the licking log beyond, would this bel- 
lowing and pawing cease. 

Now I have seen in my day thousands of men who, if 
you would just remove their licking log, would go on just as 
our wild Texas steers did, and who, like wild Texas steers, 
were of no> account to the earth only as they were brought 
to the shambles and used for the good of mankind in general 


In my day and time I was considered a good horseman and 
had some experience on the ranch, quite enough to satisfy 
me that I was not cut for a Texas stockman, and when satis- 
fied on any subject I never failed to change my course, posi- 
tion, undertaking or business. I believe that yet I could do 
many things thousands of people that I have seen going to 
a base or foot ball feam would think impossible. 

Buffaloi Bill has given exhibitions that received great 
applause, which I have seen more than excelled by common 
cowboys. The man or boy who has not had an opportunity 
to see Buffalo Bill's exhibition or the great play entitled "The 
Texas Steer," by Hoyt, has missed seeing the most realistic 
of all exhibitions or plays, not even excepting P. T. Barnum's 
Original Shows. 


In the National Museum in the City of Mexico is to be 
seen, to me at least, more wonderful things than I have seen 
in that of the British in London. There, in Mexico', can be 
seen evidences in abundance of the existence of a civilization, 
love of art, knowledge of astrology as well as of astronomy — 
and other, to us, lost arts, that place the exhumed antiquities 
of Ancient Chaldea, of Greece, of Egypt, and of all our old 
world ideas far beyond the worthiness of computing or recall. 

The invader Cortez and all his followers since, and up to 
within the past thirty years, spent the force of their energies in 
destroying and obliterating every and all evidences of there 
having been a civilization in Mexico and Peru that was greater, 
better, more noble and Christian than was that they, the cut- 
throats, robbers, pirates, brigands and invaders, brought. Who 
that reads Prescott's "Conquest of Mexico," if not a bigoted 
Romanist, let alone the mountains of matter he dared not 
have refered to, and that has since been brought to light can. 
and fails to see therein the truth of the above, is not of whom 
God expects much. One race of people with one belief has 
from creation's first day been engaged in pulling down another, 
and so with civilizations, and thus it is even unto this day, 
though the battle is not as fierce as it has been in the past, even 
within the recollection of man now living. 

The man who undertook to read in the rocks' records of 
ages that existed more than six thousand years ago was called 
an infidel, a deist, an unbeliever; for the church's chronologist 
had written it ; two thousand years from creation to the flood ; 
two thousand more to the birth of Christ, and then on, and 
when two thousand more revoluted then would come the end ; 



and the church worse than crucified, if such thing could be, all 
who questioned not only the chronology of Usher but many 
other more absurd and by far more disgraceful, ignorant, selfish 
and accursedly superstitious propositions. Usher, no doubt, 
was a fairly intelligent man of his day, but in point of general 
information the fifteen-year-old schoolboy of this day knows 
more than Usher and all of his associates could have possibly 

In this museum, among the surprises in store for the one 
who has been taught to believe that our fathers and brothers 
whoi have delved into the ruins of ancient cities, know and have 
found out all as respects the peoples who inhabited this globe — 
for aught you and I know — ten million years before Moses 
wrote or had written of the birth or making of Adam. 

The Aztec Calendar stone, weighing more than twenty 
tons, has engraved on its face ; dial shaped, all but two 1 of the 
signs of the zodiac and all of the astronomical indications and 
calculations, and so perfect is their division of time that not a 
moment is missing. Our Julian Calendar is the work of a 
schoolboy in comparison. 

The man who thinks our churches are any more forward 
in promulgating truths being revealed by explorers than were 
those of our fathers does not weigh aright the spirit of man 
when once in power. The teacher, the preacher of today is no 
more apt to tell the truth and teach it than was the odd monk 
who may have been burned at the stake for teaching and 
preaching a doctrine he was willing to sacrifice his life for, 
though false it may have been. 

It is one's belief — faith — that will land him in the happy 
hunting-ground, even though, as I believe, there were no truth 
in that belief — faith. 

"Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning hath made 
thee mad," comes to every man who has a clear perception and 
an opportunity to observe. . 


Standing at a certain point in Yellowstone Park, can be 
seen stratifications representing nine epochs and eons of time, 
each separate and distinct from the other, and each represent- 
ing a cycle of time perhaps, and no one can deny or dispute 
that I am correct in stating it, of ten million years each. The 
man who professes to> know the most is often the most ignorant 
of all professors. The learned idiot that teaches medicine or 
theology or any other science of the day is a dolt at anything 
else you may put him at, and, therefore, why have confidence 
or respect in his theories or judgments? 

When a boy I had to- attend, every fourth Sunday, old man 
Terry's harangues about hell and heaven, and there I would 
have to sit on a puncheon bench without a back for as long as 
four hours at a time listening to- that old ignoramus tell the 
other ignoramuses what was no better than lies, for he could 
prove nothing that he said ; and why should I not have had a 
prejudice all my life against such would-be "sky pilots," and 
doubly so in view of the fact that I never have in all my life 
seen one single instance of their foretellings or promises com- 
ing true. 

It is my opinion, grounded upon experiences and from 
close observation, that as a people we read too much. We 
imbibe the thoughts and theories, the notions and unconsciously 
the villanies and schemes of the writer and educator we read 
after. We think too little for ourselves; we allow others to 
furnish us ready-made plans they keep in stock on shelves for 
us as the merchant does hats, shoes and ready-made clothing. 
The great masses of people think only of something to eat, of 
beer, booze and a place to sleep, and therefore are only crea- 
tures of and for the designing hypocrite and demagogue. 

In our great cities there are three classes which I will term 
the workers, the clerkers and the shirkers. The workers go 
down town with the rising of the sun or before, and you will 
see nine-tenths of those who are reading, are devouring some 


Police Gazette or yellow journal that is profusely illustrated 
with mind-debauching, soul-degrading, vile, vulgar, suggestive 
pictures. They all carry their tin buckets filled with the cheap- 
est provender that can be bought in the market. When they 
draw their pay Saturday night they repair to a nearby saloon, 
where they would stay all night and Sunday too> but that the 
law requires the saloons to close at twelve o'clock at night. 

They reach home some time in the morning in a maudlin, 
drunken condition and sleep all day. They have brought home 
no money with them, therefore the wife and mother has to 1 take 
in washing to support the children, and the brute and beast of a 
husband returns to his work Monday morning to spend another 
week as he did the last, and thus on and on through his life, 
and his children who come after him are, if possible, one or 
two degrees yet lower than he is. 

They all belong to the union and never fail to vote with 
the party that gives them the most money for their votes. 
They believe in their walking delegates, just as did the poor 
down-trodden, besotted, deceived Mexicans and Spaniards in 
their priest and preacher. Try you to 1 make anything out of 
this class of people? 

The second class, which follows along an hour or more 
later, are the clerkers. They are better dressed but no better 
informed. They are just as ignorant and fully as vicious. 
You will see eight-tenths of them reading the base political 
news and the sporting columns of the paper, where the results 
of the horse races of the day previous are reported. There 
is nothing to be told of or about from the papers they may be 
reading, for they are as liable to be reading a first-class, respect- 
able paper as they are a Police Gazette yellow journal sheet. 

This class is not so well paid as the former. They have 
their likes and dislikes, but they are a sorry set to depend upon 
and out of which to make anything good. The boss who over- 
looks them is not quite so cruel as was the Southern negro 


overseer, but he would be all the same if the law allowed 

The third class, the "shirkers," who come along down in 
banking hours, are the ones who do the thinking and who, 
when they work with their hands and brains, will do more in 
one hour's time than either of the other two classes will do in 
their way in half or a full day. These are the men who are the 
great captains of industry, who keep the world moving on, 
providing means and ways for the other two classes and who 
act on the thoughts of a moment and first impressions and are 
very seldom wrong in their conclusions. 

The average merchant of the day is no longer a merchant 
in the sense that he was when I was a boy. He may know 
something about hardware or some lines of dry goods or of 
groceries, and is sound as to his general information as to the 
commercial world and where this, that, and the other is pro- 
duced and by whom and how. He is as ignorant as the farmer 
who sells his corn for thirty cents a bushel, because he is too 
ignorant and lazy to have hogs and get sixty cents for it. 

The average merchant of today is run by the commercial 
traveler called a "drummer," who tells him what to buy and 
how to sell, and if he deviates from the instructions the whole- 
sale house shuts down on him and his door is closed. When I 
was a boy I could be sent to the store for any article and there 
would be no cheating in the transaction. The average mer- 
chant then was a man whose word was his bond and the goods 
that he sold were just as he represented them to be. The sugar 
that he sold at ten cents a pound did not have fifteen or twenty 
per cent of adulteration in it as did the villain's across the way 
who sold at nine and one-half. 

Today a man's eyes must be his merchant, and when you 
find that you have been cheated and by your own judgment 
there being no redress, try to seek an honest dealer in the next 
deal. He may cheat you worse than the other and thus on 


because there may be no honest man in business in your town. 
This is the reason why the great mail order houses in our 
great cities, notably in Chicago, have forged ahead and have 
been the means of closing up many thousands oif little establish- 
ments around in the country and to the benefit of the people 
therein, for did these great mail order houses fail to protect 
their name and reputation by sending good goods as well as 
cheap goods to their customers they would soon go by the 

I am personally acquainted with several fruit growers in 
different States in the Union, who in packing a barrel of apples 
put no better at the bottom or at the top than is in the middle 
and the same with all else that they sell. They sell through 
only one commission house in a city and their brand on a 
barrel of apples, peaches or what not is a guarantee that they 
are worth from ten to as high as fifty per cent more than any 
other fruit of the same class or character. 

A son, the successor of one of these men, two years ago 
killed the goose that had laid his father's golden eggs continu- 
ously, by doing as did his father's slipshod, briar-in-the-fence- 
corners, rotting-down-barn and weedy-grounds neighbors, i. e., 
putting good ones on top of the barrel or basket. 

No man today buys fruit from that orchard, nor would 
those who had been his father's patrons for more than a fourth 
of a century buy fruit from him at any price; and now the 
briars are growing in the old man's fence corners, and the 
weeds are growing in from all sides, and the caterpillar's nest 
is in abundance all over the orchard, and the last time I saw 
the son, a man forty-five years old, he was throwing dice for 
the drinks in a low down groggery. 

I have spent some little time figuring out the increase and 
-consumption of fruits, berries and vegetables in the last twenty- 
five years in proportion to the population of the United States, 
and I am satisfied that it has been more than twenty per cent, 


that it will be more than twenty per cent in the next ten years, 
and that in the next twenty-five years the people of the United 
States will live on one-half of the meats that they are now 
living on, and one-fourth of the amount they were living on 
fifty years ago. 

That the average American farmer eats one-third to one- 
half less than he did thirty or forty to fifty years ago and 
that we as a people are eating in point of cost twenty-five per 
cent less than we did twenty-five years ago- is a generally con- 
ceded fact. However strange this may appear to my reader, I 
hazard little in saying that if he will but stop and think and 
then talk with his most intelligent friends, my statement will 
be confirmed by his own sphere of observation. 

I have elsewhere stated as to the decrease in the productive- 
ness of the soil within the last fifty years. I am satisfied that 
in the Northern States the decrease in the last fifty years has 
been more than forty and possibly above fifty per cent in all 
manner of farm products and that this decrease will continue 
while the products of the orchard, though they have decreased 
in the last fifty years, will greatly increase. 

The intrinsic value of the farm products has also decreased. 
The value of a bushel of corn is estimated by the amount of 
whisky that can be made from it, more than by the 
pounds of fat it will make in a hog or beef. In wheat there 
is a less depreciation in its fattening and nourishing qualities 
than in any other cereal. 

The potato is larger and more of them are raised in the hill 
when properly planted in good soil, but the power of strength- 
giving food is less. If you could dig back down in the cellar or 
orchard and find some good old Louisiana or Jamaica sugar 
that was made fifty years ago and then go and have a good 
chemist analyze it and compare its saccharine force with that 
of the bleached white beet sugar of today, the party doing it 
would doubtless be so surprised at the result as to fear to tell 


the truth to his neighbors, less they should say that he was a liar 
and that there was no truth in him. 

The fool — and I have been he as many times as I have 
hairs — who buys a bottle of some well advertised bitters or 
patent medicine because he has been told or has seen printed 
in some advertisement that it contains twenty-five or fifty per 
cent alcohol, thinking thereby, that he is getting whisky and 
medicine combined for the price of one, no doubt would con- 
tinue to be the fool he is if he were told the truth and enlight- 
ened on the subject of what twenty-five or fifty per cent of 
alcohol in a patent medicine or bitters means, and it is very 
possible that there is not one in fifty that would believe the 
truth. I will wager that there is not one in five thousand of the 
drinkers and users of this stuff" who understand the meaning of 
the expression that accompanies the analysis of all this accursed 
poison, "twenty-five per cent in volume." 

If I undertook to explain I would be laughed at and I always 
prefer to have the laugh on the other fellow ; therefore, if you 
would be made wise write to your educator and ask him what 
this means and to explain it so that you can understand it. 
I will volunteer to say this much, however, which may be an 
eye opener to my reader and of benefit to< him. When you buy 
a stuff said to contain twenty-five per cent alcohol, do not think 
that you would have to buy four bottles to get one bottle of 
alcohol, but know you that you would have to buy twenty-five 
bottles to get one bottle of alcohol, and thus "in voilume" you 
get it and not in quantity. 

People are deceived often in a way that is beyond the ken 
of man to solve and explain. Many years ago, when I was a 
man of affairs in more schemes than one in the Lone Star State, 
I thought to do my people a great good and benefit the public 
at large. I commenced a fight on the Galveston Wharf Com- 
pany. This I did not do because I was interested in building a 
railroad from the North, but to tell the honest truth about it, 


I did it in order that when the roads were completed from the 
North the cereals of the Northwest might reach Europe 
through Galveston which it could not do and pay the wharf- 
age at that time exacted. 

E,very barrel of flour that came to Texas by way of the 
Galveston port, no matter whether it touched the wharf or 
not — it might be lightered into another boat that took it on 
up to Houston or other inland points — paid wharfage of twenty 
cents all the same. Forty cents for every barrel of whisky or 
barrel of pork and proportionate charges for everything that 
came in or out. This was better than a tub mill to the man 
who owned the wharf franchise which w r as first owned by the 
great highwayman of the sea, buccaneer and pirate, La Fitte, 
who in his day owned Galveston Island. 

The expose I published in a paper which I controlled and 
that had the largest circulation of any in the State was the 
sensation of the day and great interest was taken therein and 
greater excitement was created in Galveston than was ever 
known before. I held my own in the discussion and during the 
fight as I had calculated upon holding it. 

There was a guttersnipe newspaper man in Galveston, the 
like of whom would find ready employment on the yellow 
journals and Police Gazettes of today. He was a sarcastic 
writer and an illustrator in the way of caricature pictures that 
was not to be despised. He always had to be settled with and 
pulled off by so much solid cash. The wharf people employed 
him to do me up and paid him for it in good shape, all of which 
he proceeded to do at so much per do. Money was no object to 
the Philistines of the wharf company and they paid this man a 
big price for what he did in making up the Thunderbolt, as the 
paper was termed. 

He had two woodcut engravings representing me as a 
carpet-bagger. The head and face were absolutely perfect, but 
the fingers and feet and all the limbs were hideous. The in- 


scriptions on the carpet-bag which I carried in my left hand 
and on my cane and umbrella in my right hand were provoking. 
All in all the two cuts were the best that the brainy sketch artist 
and wood engraver could produce, and the twenty-five thousand 
copies of the Thunderbolt with this in it made me an object of 
laughter and sympathy more than one to be despised, because 
ninety-nine per cent of the people were with me in the fight. 
I knew the man who did the work and lost no' time in sending 
my "good man Friday" to see him and within twenty-four 
hours after the Thunderbolt came out I owned the woodcut en- 

I called on all of the members of the Galveston Wharf Com- 
pany with whom I was acquainted, each of whom upon seeing 
me wanted to know if I had seen the Thunderbolt. With an 
indifferent nonchalant air I said : 

"Yes, and I am surprised at the interest you people take in 
that paper and especially in that edition. " 

They looked surprised, but when I pulled out of my pocket 
the two woodcut engravings and flashed them before their faces 
and said with all the expression I could use : "I paid for this 
work, not you." The editor of the Thunderbolt and the en- 
graver as well had urgent business out of the City of Galveston 
and they left on that night's boat. The man who. undertakes 
to win out by fight and fight only, whether it be a battle in 
the field of horticulture, agriculture, in the forum or facing a 
cannon, and who uses not brains, is the man who always 

The power of mind over matter (now do not raise your 
hands up and shout that I am a Christian Scientist or Spiritual- 
ist) is not properly understood and appreciated by the great 
masses of intelligent people. That mind controls all matter and 
all things or the direction thereof few could question. Dr. 
Messmer first proved this to all thinking people. It is a force 
to be calculated upon and which none but fools will question. 


The greatest inventors and statesmen that I have ever had 
the pleasure and honor of becoming acquainted with, as well 
as the great jurists and lawyers and the most noted disease- 
curing physicians that I have ever read of and about, do as did 
Moses the leader of the Jews when he went unto> the Mount, 
and did as our Savior when He went unto the Mount. They 
are those who' commune with nature and with themselves and 
in that way become of good mind and are enabled to' control 
matters, measures and men. 

The unthinking blatherskite can harangue a crowd of little 
thinking blatherskites, but when it comes to the directing of 
great affairs, the inaugurating of great enterprises, the devel- 
oping of great plans, the inventing of great machinery, it 
takes thought, reflection, meditation and much of it. The man 
who works to work and without an object in view is a dullard 
and never makes two blades grow where one formerly grew. 


In July, 1864, I bore messages from President Davis in 
Richmond to the commander of the, Trans-Mississippi Depart- 
ment at Shreveport, La. I was detained by General Joseph E. 
Johnston in Atlanta, Ga. He, without knowing the import- 
ance of the dispatch, told me bluntly that I could go' no farther 
until he so ordered. I knew that Mr. Davis had decided 
already upon removing him, though I dared not tell it. I could 
easily have gone on, but he was advised the Federals had 
turned his left flank and that I could not get through. I made 
myself as comfortable as I could in his office, when at a late 
hour in the night a party" of ladies called on him and very 
bluntly demanded to know whether he was going to evacuate, 
fall back, retreat and let the Yankees come in and burn the 
city, as they had all other towns on their march to the sea so 
far. He listened to their talk very patiently, and pointing to his 
hat on the far end of the table, said : "Ladies, if my hat knew 
what I was going to do, I would burn it." They retired with- 
out any further adieu, or without scarcely bidding the general 

General Joseph E. Johnston was one of the great men of 
the Confederacy, and but for Mr. Davis' ambition to be the 
"whole thing" and nothing short of "it," Sherman would not 
have reached the sea when he did or in the way he did. John- 
ston had been pulled back and transferred and superseded so 
often that the people had lost confidence in the President, as 
much as had the soldiers lost all sorts of respect for him. I 
well know that this will not sound good to many of the stay-at- 
homes and the encumbrances and other degenerated descend- 
ants of today who have been made to believe that Mr. Jeff 



Davis was a second George Washington. But for General 
Miles having ordered shackles on him in his prison in Fortress 
Monroe, Davis would have passed away and beyond recall. 
The indignities that were heaped upon him on this occasion 
made out of him a new man in the hearts of all men wor- 
shippers of the opposite sex. Davis was a man that could appear 
in a room of fifty women who' had their fifty sweethearts with 
them, all of whom would be dismissed in favor of Mr. Davis. 

He was, to me, one of the most peculiar and unpleasant 
looking men I ever had to do or deal with. This General Miles 
proved to be a great Indian fighter and came very near proving 
that about a dozen or more connected with the War Department 
in Washington should have been taken out and shot for feeding 
the soldiers in Cuba on embalmed beef. This might have been 
done but for the fact that the Southern Democrats hated Miles 
so badly they would rather have seen all the soldiers in Cuba 
sacrificed to Mammon and the greed of the commissary officers 
and contractors than to have seen Miles credited with having 
done for the soldiers as he aimed to. The Democrats talked of 
making Miles president, as they did of Ben Butler and as they 
tried to do with Horace Greeley, but the ironing of Jeff Davis 
"cooked his goose" and in my mind should have been the cause 
of his disgraceful dismissal from the United States service. 

Not being allowed to proceed with my dispatches to the 
Trans-Mississippi Department, I followed a reconnoitering 
party, and soon found myself in the midst of the hottest battle 
that I had ever been in, and though badly hurt, I was much 
worse scared. 

I was permitted to proceed the next day after the battle at 
Atlanta, Ga., in a very badly crippled condition, however, and 
after so long a time the greatly delayed dispatches were received. 
Though important, I knew when I took them that they were of 
no value, for the orders given could not be executed, and 
though several attempts were made, all resulted in failure, since 


the people living west of the Mississippi had about come to' the 
conclusion and settled upon it as a fact that we had sent enough 
soldiers east and that what we had were needed at home; and 
besides all this, it had somehow gotten into the heads of a great 
number that so long as Mexico lay west of us, west of the Mis- 
sissippi River was a much better place or country to move from 
than anywhere east of it would be. An attempt was made to 
move six thousand infantry across the Mississippi River ; they 
revolted. A cavalry division was brought to the field of action 
and was encamped along side of the infantry that had refused 
to move further towards the Mississippi River. That night no 
cavalryman was supposed to be off duty, yet when daybreak 
came and orders were given to mount, not a cavalryman's sad- 
dle had a girth, and this was the condition of every soldier from 
General Wharton down to the lowest private. The Federals 
got wind of the situation and they were concentrating a force 
that, but for our very rapid retreat, would have resulted in 
not only the capturing of the six thousand infantry and the 
three thousand cavalrymen, but also' the four thousand Texas 
beeves that had been driven nearby and were being herded close 
by. I am yet very well acquainted with a man who was offered 
more solid gold than any five stout negroes could carry if he 
would guide the advance division of the Yankee army that 
started in to capture this entire army of poor, hungry and 
almost naked Confederates, who' were practically out of am- 
munition and were as near a disheartened and whipped crowd 
of men as ever assembled or were called an army. I started to 
Richmond, Va., with a report from the general commanding, 
accompanied by reports made to him from his six subaltern 
commanders. I saved my scalp, which all should know is a 
very precious, valuable and highly prized piece of property to 
any scout, guide or courier, by forwarding the report on and in 
the regular way ; for at this time I was apprised of what was in 


store for me, which I have referred to in another part of my 

I heard on the day of the battle of Atlanta, Ga., this story ; 
I give it for what it was worth : 

An old negro slave who had joined the Yankee army was 
sent to an outpost and was in a fence corner as the random 
guns commenced firing. As the fire kept growing more and 
more rapid, the darky thought it was time to pray, which he 
did as follows : ''Now, O Massa God, if you ain't wid us, 
don't be agin' us, but, Massa God, set on this fence and see the 
almightiest fight that was ever fought and then when we whip 
them rebels for you, we know thou wilt be with us, as thou art 
always with the winning side." 

I have always thought this was true, because it was told by a 
Yankee prisoner that was taken that da^. Years after this bat- 
tle I visited this place and without guide or the aid of anyone, 
I located all the most hardly contested points in the two* days' 
fight, and I must say that the most heroic, valorous and bravely 
conducted artillery fight I had ever seen was that done by 
Howell's battery in this little battle near Atlanta, Ga. 

General Joseph E. Johnston was removed soon enough so 
as not to interfere seriously with the further advance of Sher- 
man in his march to the sea. General Hood, who, by the way, 
was a brave man and a great leader of men when he was on the 
trail of a great director and general, but a failure when it came 
to generalship, was sent to the rear to molest and interfere with 
the tail end of Sherman's army, a move which cost the lives of 
5,800 as noble, brave and chivalrous soldiers as ever obeyed 

It is but proper for me to refer to> a general who> but recently 
passed away, than whom there never lived a nobler man, a 
grander, more self-sacrificing, pure Christian statesman and 
general, and whose bravery was equal to that of the most heroic 
that commanded any corps of the Confederate army — General 


Longstreet. He may have equals, but no peers or superiors. 
None enjoyed the esteem, confidence and love of the people of 
the South more than he. 

But for the perfidy, the lying deceit, the rascality and 
treachery of the editors of three Southern journals that I will 
not name, Longstreet would have died with as much glory as 
Lee, and perhaps infinitely greater. He was a better man than 
Lee ever was or could be. 

When General Grant sought to more thoroughly reunite 
the people than he did by his masterly stroke at Appomattox, 
where he gave Lee such terms and conditions under such cir- 
cumstances and surroundings as never on earth did any con- 
quering general give a fallen foe, by appointing to the most im- 
portant offices in the Southern States the reconstructed generals 
and officers of the late "Lost Cause," his first selection fell on 
Longstreet, who asked the President for a few days to consider, 
which he did by communicating with not only Lee, Beauregard, 
Johnston, Bragg, E. Kirby Smith and more than twenty other 
prominent generals and many politicians, all of whom, without 
one single exception, advised him to take the position, and 
that they would stand by him. They knew Grant's policy and 
knew something was coming to them as well as to Longstreet. 
Longstreet did not think it was necessary for him to take into 
his confidence the three leading Southern editors who had not 
smelled gunpowder in the war, who zvere bribed, bought up by 
the carpet-bag ring of thcives to thus oppose the appointment 
of Southern Generals to office, and who should have been shot 
the morning after their papers came out in such -terrific edi- 
torials as to cause all of those generals and statesmen to desert 
Longstreet, and, like cowards that they were, in this respect at 
least, feared the swinish rabble's hissing more than they had 
bravery and honor to stand out nobly in his defence. Thus it 
was that Longstreet was made to bear the burden of false accu- 
sation and was classed with that class of thieves and villains 


that the people of the South knew as "scallywags," who in the 
most part were members of the committees of public safety 
that were organized in all districts in the South. I know very 
well that there are thousands of people in the South who have 
abused Longstreet only froni the fact that they did not know 
why he was induced to accept the office he did. Longstreet 
would have fared much worse than he did at the hands of the 
people — the rabble — of the South,, but for an order from Gen- 
eral Grant sent to the different department commanders in sub- 
stance : 

"You shall detail a competent officer, whose duty it shall 
be to cause a copy of every paper published in your district to 
be sent to> your headquarters. These papers shall be carefully 
scanned by such officer and all articles of a seditious and rebel- 
lious nature shall be marked and sent to these headquarters.'' 

Trie three papers above referred to became lamb-like. In 
Texas we had sixty-four papers published, and though I had, 
in common with all others that had served in any capacity in 
the Confederate army, taken the oath of allegiance and thought 
war was over, to read anyone of these sixty-four papers, a man 
fresh down from the clouds would imagine that Lincoln, the old 
rail splitter, and Grant, the butcher and the drunkard and the 
fool, and all other Federal officers and men in position, had 
been not only whipped, but killed or driven out of the country. 
When these papers received this order from Grant, they turned 
around and faced the other way and became truly loyal and 
penitent lickspittles. The people of the South to this day are 
dominated more than any other people on earth by that class 
of editors who have much fun with themselves when they get 
together and recount how they have fooled the poor fools that 
believe all they say, or any considerable part of what they 

I was prominently brought before the people of the State 
of Texas by reason of having been a great advocate of all 


manner and sorts of internal improvements. There were only 
two papers in the State at that time that had much influence 
with the people and they were not purchasable with the price 
that I had to give, but when the parties in the interest purchased 
up all the local papers in the State, then numbering more than 
a hundred, it naturally followed that these two papers had to 
follow suit. I remember in fixing the price of the different men 
who ran papers that I made a great fool of myself, for the 
money was appropriated and another man disbursed it and he 
showed us that he had bought them for less than one-half the 
estimate I had placed on them. He pocketed the difference. 
It was necessary at one time that the interest I represented 
should have about one-third of the lawyers in the State of 
Texas in its employ and this was all done for less than one- 
third of my estimate, and they were all happy. The parties 
that paid the money in both cases lost all they had invested. 
If asked why and how, I would reply that it came from the 
fact that our great Creator never yet created one man so smart 
but that there was another created- a little smarter and more 
clever, and thus it has been from the beginning, ever has been, 
"is now, and ever shall be." Say you that this is but the 
"survival of the fittest?" Then may the friend at your side 
ask, "Which, God or the Devil ?" 

I am not the only man that discovered in old age that it 
was a much harder matter to keep money after one had made 
it than it was to make it, and that to> keep a reputation unsoiled 
and spotless before the world is one of the impossible things 
that God did not intend a man should aim at and accomplish 
after Lucifer was cast out of heaven. So- long as his Majesty 
the Devil reigns so supremely in many communities and indi- 
viduals as he does, the man who makes money and keeps it or 
dies leaving behind an unsoiled reputation is a very fortunate 
being, and his memory deserves embalming. 

The Confederate Government (so-called) confiscated all 


effects, estates and holdings of any person who lived with or in 
any way aided and encouraged its enemies, and the extent of 
the property thus passed over to those who were able to buy 
was beyond computing. When Uncle Sam got in the saddle 
again, he did some confiscating, and in order to relieve the indi- 
gent condition of the people in the South as much as possible, 
he passed what was known as a General Bankruptcy Law. All 
the politicians down South denounced it and all the papers 
counseled their readers not to pay any attention to< it. Now, I 
know, dear reader, that if I were to tell you that these very 
devils had been paid by wealthy, moneyed syndicates to pro- 
nounce against this law, you would all say that I was a cruel 
and bad man, so I will leave it to you to figure out to suit your- 
self when I state that the property sold by the United States 
Marshal under both the Confiscation Act and the General Bank- 
ruptcy Act did not, on a average bring one-twentieth part of 
its value, because the papers and the politicians had told the 
people both laws were unconstitutional, and the people did not 
attend the sales, and there was only one man there to do any 
bidding, and he, at one sale in Texas, bought lands at ten cents 
an acre that had sold for as much as one hundred dollars, and I 
know one very near and dear friend who bought lands at from 
three to ten cents an acre that he sold a few years afterwards, 
some as high as fifty dollars an acre, and none for less than 
two dollars. He took advantage of the people's false education, 
that if you do not believe the politicians and editors were paid 
to give out, I surely would hate to become your guardian, for 
I have had enough to do with fools in my day to make my heart 

There are millions of people who from being honest in all 
their acts, deeds and thoughts, judge all others to be sol We 
are told in the holy book that justice and judgment is more 
acceptable than sacrifice. The judging of others by yourself 
and what I would do if I were in the other fellow's place has 


cost me more than sacrifice. Few people are capable of judg- 
ing the average man who have not had much experience with 
him. "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick," and who lives 
over that sickness is apt to have the stone heart ailment. 

The "carpet-bagger" referred to as having bribed the three 
editors — as Greeley says — were Yankees who came South for 
no other purpose than to hold office and run out all who, like 
Longstreet, had been in the Confederate service. They had 
money and cunning, and the South had just such traitors as 
were needed to do their devilish work. 


My first experiences in Mexico were in 1861, after serving 
six months as a Texas ranger under Colonel Ford in the Rio 
Grande country. Having become convinced I was not cast for 
a soldier, I crossed the river for pastures green on the other 
side and Southwest beyond the mountains. I felt that my 
knowledge of the Mexican character with the power to "abolo 
spaniolo" would enable me to make a "go." I had not pro- 
ceeded on my journey many leagues when I was overhauled 
by a band of Greaser brigands, who* divested me of my all, 
excepting very scant raiment. They overlooked a gold ring 
on my middle finger, but for which I must have starved before 
reaching the place whence I had started, Brownsville, where, 
through the kindness of a friend, I was re-horsed and outfitted 
for any sort oi service, even be it that of the devil, just soi I 
was given an opportunity to square myself with the race of 
brown hellions that had robbed me of my all. I found no diffi- 
culty in procuring a job in the expedition to California via 
New Mexico and Arizona, of which I have already written. 

I started for Mexico, intending to> make my way down 
south a thousand or more miles to where the properties were 
situated in which I had made an investment four years previ- 
ous, that were to have made me a multi-millionaire, and of 
which I have written in the past pages, which see and read 
for the balance of this story, told forty-two* years afterwards. 
At that time little did I think myself unable to cope with any 
sort of obstacles, difficulties or the device of devils that might 
be lying in wait for me. My mind was soon disabused and 
fixedly and very permanently settled on this score, when I 
awoke to find a dozen or more snake-eyed, yellow Mexican 



demons over me. I had had Indian experiences, had read all 
sort of brigands', pirates' robbers' and highwaymen's histories, 
but this knocked all that sort of stuff out of my mind quicker 
than thoughts otherwise might or will come to me under any 
other conditions. I left all I had with the brigands, and when 
they left I felt much as did a corpse who, in dying, left all he 
had. After walking and running! — because I could not fly — 
over a road I had traveled on horseback three days in one day's 
time, I reach a town where my gold ring, duly pawned with 
the three-ball broker, soon brought my empty and famishing 
stomach relief; first by devouring a watermelon and some 
jerked dried meat that had been drying a few years and that 
was as hard as a bone. I then tackled a hot tamale, hot from 
pepper more than from any fire it had ever come in contact 
with. I had nearly two hundred miles yet to make before 
reaching the border of, as I have always since termed it, God's 
country, though it was in the southwestern corner of Texas. I 
was six days going on horseback and had reached a distance 
equal to about three hundred of our miles. I was about three 
days and a half returning on foot. I have come across but 
few men in my day since who could have made such a dis- 
tance over such a country in any shorter time. The longest 
continuous distance, however, that I ever made, was from 
Waterproof on the Mississippi River to Alexandria on the Red 
River in Louisiana, which I covered in less than twenty-three 
hours on foot, a distance of more than ninety miles. From 
fearing that it would be considered a disposition on my part to 
quit the country and the noble cause that soon afterwards 
became the "lost cause," I told no one of my rencounter in the 
land of the Aztecs, Spaniards, negroes, Indians, and all else 
in human form having. all of the hellish disposition of old 
Beelzebub himself. 

Brigandage has been ended in that country in a way 
peculiar to descendants of the Spanish Latin races, and partial- 


larly so, when the breed of cutthroats and cruel, bloodthirsty, 
pagan barbarians are mixed up with the native Aztec, Indian, 
negro, and what else that could be lower and more degraded. 
Up to that time and for some years afterwards, the country 
was overrun by bands of cutthroats who* did with all they 
came in contact as Joshua told the children of Israel to do with 
the people he found possessing so valuable a country as to 
incite his covetousness. These brigands were not always Mex- 
icans, and I have been told by people who ought to know that 
they were, for the most part, officered by people formerly from 
the States. If I were to stop here and devote pages to what I 
have been told about Mexican brigands and what I know to be 
true, people reading would say that it was impossible that any 
race of people on earth, could treat a fellow man as they often 
treated their victims. No account ever published of cruelty 
could come up to- that perpetrated by these Mexican brigands. 
In Fox's Book of Martyrs we see pictures of how the Chris- 
tians of an early day were treated on the rack and by all 
methods and modes of torture that devils could devise, all of 
which was copied after and improved upon by these accursed 
land pirates. I saw at one place seven of their victims 
hanging up by the heels under whom had been built a slow 
fire, and wl)o had been tortured in every manner and conciev- 
able way. I have seen other sights too horrible, too soiul-sicken- 
ing for me to undertake to describe. 

The church, the priests, monks, and what else you may be 
pleased to call them, owned nearly all the lands and valuable 
holdings in Mexicoi acquired by their selling through tickets to 
heaven to the thieves and cutthroats after death. Many will 
say there never was such a thing as indulgences granted by the 
church in America. I know better. A full, free pardon, operat- 
ing in the name of the great God and the further consideration 
that they also* lifted their dead ancestors from all time past out 
of purgatory, was granted all who had the wherewith to enrich 


the church, and especially the priests who, in a large measure 
and to a great extent, were priests here today but brigands 
yonder tomorrow. Nothing belonging to the church or to a 
priest could be taxed; therefore, there was no money toi pay 
for government, and there being no government but such as 
above described, there was nothing left but devil meet devil. 
There was nothing owned in Mexico 1 but what was the prop- 
erty of either the church or brigands, and having nothing else 
to conquer, they turned to conquering themselves, by fighting 
each other, which they did to a finish. 

"Know-nothingism" had its run in the States between 1854 
and '57, and accomplished all therein that God had intended it 
should. The Mexican brigands took the same question up, 
only in another form, and under the leadership of an Irishman 
educated for the priesthood, but who, by some hook or crook, 
acquired the title of general, a revolution was brought about 
in the northern states of the republic, which resulted in the 
confiscation of all church property, and, for a time, the exiling 
of all of several orders of Romanists. This General Comer- 
fort was a highly educated, refined and cultured gentlemen 
who had, in a very satisfactory way, captured a large amount 
of coin of the realm that answered him to good purpose in his 
rebellion. The property confiscated from the church and taken 
from the priesthood was divided amongst the people in all 
sorts of ways, and that which would not be taken by anyone 
was sold afterwards to people who came to Mexico, thinking 
all Greasers were fools. This rebellion grew, and all Mexico be- 
came a unit on the church confiscation scheme, and the priests, 
bishops, etc., skedaddled. The conquest of Cbrtez was, in a 
measure, repeated over again, only in another form. It was the 
Spaniards that were catching it this time. This spirit of con- 
fiscation grew so as to include everything the thieves wanted, 
and as the wild, mad mob of one locality, city or district in- 
vaded another, that which could not be taken away was burned, 


and those who did not join were massacred. Not being satis- 
fied, they turned to confiscating the mines, a great majority of 
which were owned by English, German, Dutch, Austrian and 
French investors. This they did with a high hand, massacreing 
the operators in true Spanish, Indian, barbarian style. The 
truth has never been told respecting the crimes committed by 
these wretched hellions. In the mining districts where they 
overpowered all opposition all were killed that could not flee 
away to the mountains. Vandalism prevailed on all sides and 
a regin of terror existed all through Mexico. This brought 
about foreign intervention in quick order. The United States 
would have asserted the Monroe doctrine by adopting the pro- 
tectorate resolution introduced by Senator Sam Houston, oif 
Texas, and thereby have kept out foreign invasion, but the 
Yankee abolitionists feared least it be turned in as so much 
more slave territory, as Texas had been. The powers waited 
for the United States to act, but, thanks be to our Divine Di- 
rector, it did not act, so they joined hands and feared no harm 
from the United States because of the war of secession that had 
just started between the States. The foreign powers agreed 
upon Maxmilian, an Austrian prince, whom, they endowed with 
imperial power and sent with an army to Mexico to do the re- 
storation act and set up a more stable government. He accom- 
plished the former, and would have been successful at the lat- 
ter but from his having placed confidence in the Mexicans whom 
he elevated to high place, power and position — just as we are 
told in the Bible God trusted his chief lieutenant, Lucifer, who 
betrayed and sold him out in a most cruel and wicked way. 
He was shot and his government overthrown ; all its belongings 
— and it was rich — were seized, and the mines would have been 
re-confiscated by the Mexicans but for the United States step^ 
ping in and at a time when she had just completed a big job 
was doubly ready to engage in another. The war had just 
ended and forty thousand troops were rendezvoused near the 


border ready for a forward movement, in command of whom 
was placed General Phil. Sheridan, whom the Mexicans hated 
worse than the devil ever hated holy water. 

About sixteen thousand deserters from the Confederate 
army had joined Maxmilian's colors and as more — not quite 
so bad, for they did not start to join Maxmilian until after 
Lee had surrendered — were on their way south in Mexico. 
Had Maxmilian been able to have held out one week longer, he 
would have been relieved by the advance division O'f the 3000 
fighting machines from Missouri and with three times more to 
follow, he could have whipped all Mexico, and but for a 
"hitch" in the proceedings and a delay in the movement made by 
a drunken Confederate general, to whom this move was en- 
trusted, Emperor Maxmilian would not have been shot at 
Ouentril, Mexico. Had this drunken Confederate not spent 
two weeks at the Menger House in San Antonio instead of 
pushing forward, quite another chapter would have been writ- 
ten in history. I believe that I may say that the devil has ac- 
complished more in this world through rum, and I ofttimes 
think for good, than people think. 

When the news reached the ex-Confederates from Mis- 
souri that Maxmilian had been captured, bag, baggage, army 
and all, and that he had been shot, they soon repented of their 
ways and joined the so-called Mexican government under 
promise of big pay. This settled the matter as to a govern- 
ment, and in the spirit of come and be good like us, the Mexi- 
can Czar — for so he is unto this day — issued an amnesty, free 
forgiveness and pardon to all brigands for all past acts dat- 
ing from the birth of Adam, and, of course, carrying with it 
future ones if not caught in their perpetration — if they would 
come in and take the oath of allegiance and join the Mexican 
army and receive a commission in the army insuring them big 
pay. An thus ended the old-fashioned brigandage in Mex- 
ico, which only stepped aside to give way for the coming of 


another to play upon the world in the name of government. 
But for the ex-Confederates that joined the army first, no 
Mexican brigand would have come in. They saw their finish. 

The billions and billions of money that have been sent to 
Mexico in one way and another in the past fifty years, ten 
times over exceed all that ever was or ever will be taken out of 
it, and this I say notwithstanding one mine is credited with 
having produced more than seven hundred million dollars since 
1847. When I read of or hear anyone say anything good of 
Mexico, I set him down as a "decoyed duck," the victim of 
some designing "promoter," like the billy-goat in the Chicago 
stock yards that has led sheep and lambs by the millions into 
the slaughter pens and always turns around on the flock and 
bleats "You fools" back to the "con'd" sheep that see their 
end, the door through which all go, none to return. 

There are large areas in Mexico where agriculture pays 
great dividends, where they can irrigate, but the dividends all 
go for the water rights; there are also boundless extents of 
grazing lands that, if the grass only grew, would be wealth- 
producing ranches. Thousands of mines could be made to 
pay, but two conditions prevent, the want of government be- 
ing the chief one. Mexico-, Cuba and all other countries on 
this globe that I have visited and am acquainted with .are in 
the same condition that God found existing when he gave 
Noah a pointer on the flood proposition by which he destroyed 
the human races. All countries originally settled or colonized 
by the Latin races, and especially the Spaniards, as I have be- 
fore said, have no future before them, and to the intelligent, 
honest man, as well as the ignorant that knows a little, the 
question must ever come why the United States should, with- 
out any recompense whatsoever for the cost of the war, pay 
Spain $20,000,000 for the Philippine Islands and then give 
$3,000,000 to $30,000,000 besides to Cuba. Why was this 
thus ? Who dare undertake to say or explain it away any more 


than can the military authorities explain away the embalmed 
beef fraud perpetrated upon the American army by contractors 
and those connected with the quartermaster's department? The 
Anglo-Saxon who in any way mixes up with the mongrel races 
of the earth or throws his life away going to> any country peo- 
pled by these breeds, has scant chance of reaching heaven 
when he dies. 

When the War of the Rebellion, or between the States, as 
it is called by many, ended, I thought much of the New South, 
as it was termed by all Northern writers, and it was no trick 
at all for me to put money into a monthly magazine published 
in Baltimore, entitled "The New South." Harper's and all the 
great magazines were teeming brimful of New South articles 
and money by the millions was being brought to all parts of 
the recently reconstructed section. I went into the deal with 
all my power and force, but came out worse than a pauper, 
which would not have been the case had I read an article writ- 
ten by an old-fashioned, level-headed, wise, close-observing 
Southern gentleman and general from Georgia, Hill by name. 

Some Yankee had written to say in substance that in a few 
years all that was in the South in the way of character, man- 
ners, methods and ideas, etc., would soon disappear, forever 
and a. day, never to return. General Hill jumped on the writer 
as a terrier dog would on a rat, and when he got through with 
the subject, there was nothing left to say, and even a fool would 
not question his conclusions. He reviewed history from the 
most remote times, and from that plainly showed that no con- 
queror ever changed the conquered in all or any considerable 
number of their ways, customs, habits, characters, etc. ; that cli- 
mate, conditions and products made the people what they were, 
that even extermination had not in many instances changed the 
habits, manners and customs of the people from what they 
were. He stated that ten or fifty newcomers might settle in 
any town in the South where one or two natives lived, 


and it would not be a generation of time before all became like 
the natives, be it for good or for bad. He wound up his article 
by illustration so forcible and clever as to convince me for all 
time. In substance it was that a young ox or mule when first 
hitched up, wanted to go but was not long in exhausting his 
strength and power in trying to go at a faster gait than the 
old one at the tongue or in the lead would allow him to go, and 
soon he settled down to the slow, easy-going gait of the ox or 
mule working at the tongue of the wagon or in the lead of the 

When one contemplates making another country or peo- 
ple over, changing the leopard's spots, the hog's propensities or 
the dog's ways, a little quiet voice, that of reason and good 
sense, ought to whisper in his ear, "Don't." 

The only way is by the fire, flame, and sword route, that 
leaves no track, trace or bridge behind, as St. Patrick did, it 
is said, with the sankes in old Ireland. The commencing with 
the grandparents to raise a boy aright is too slow a process to 
bring dividends for one of this century. Work on good ma- 
terial with good stock is the only way to do, if one may expect 
to< die happy. The unexpected often comes, sometimes for 
good, more often for bad. Trying to do* the impossible has 
caused more grief to good people than is possible for the aver- 
age man to believe. The Mexican, no matter what his people 
be they Negro, Indian, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Dutch, 
Chinese, Japanese or what-not — you will never see an English 
Mexican for the Anglo-Saxons are not a race that mixes up 
with the lower and inferior — is a bigoted, superstitious, ignor- 
ant, vicious, cruel and doubly mean type of humanity. They 
are capable of deceiving the elect of God. I was talking to an 
army officer who was showing me — for so much per show, 
for they, like all old country natives and our own Pullman 
porters, are up to tips — the battlefield of Chepultepec, and in 
pointing out to me the position of General Scott's assaulting 


party, said, "if it had not been for the Texanians, United 
States never could have conquered Mexico. Both they and all 
the United States could not do it now." The man actually be- 
lieved what he said. 

A governor of one of the wealthiest States told me that "but 
for the love of peace (?) Mexico would invade the United 
States and take possession of Canada and all North America." 
The bigoted fool believed that he was talking sense. 

Mexico is fast ripening for another uprising, revolt or revo- 
lution, and when it comes, there will be no mercy shown to any 
foreigner. They are a mercurial race and as treacherous as 
they are volatile. When the news was received in the City of 
Mexico that Dewey's fleet had been sunk in Manila Bay, in 
much shorter time than a similar demonstration could have 
been gotten up in any of our great cities, the City of Mexico 
was lighted up with bonfires, as was also every other city in 
the republic, and every one of the accursed breed was out, re- 
joicing that Spain had sunk the American fleet and had whip- 
ped the United States, and also threatening massacre to every 
American and foreigner in the city. They were wild and doub- 
ly wild, and there was not a government officer from the Presi- 
dent down to the lowest "flunk" but was in the rejoicing. This 
was a trick played on Mexico by our government to> test their 
sentiments of friendship and fealty to us. When the news came 
twelve hours after the first was received, that the whole Span- 
ish fleet had been destroy el, and coupled with it, a large list of 
other disasters that had befallen the Spaniards, the bonfires 
were quickly quenched, and in a few minutes' time not a Mexi- 
can could be seen. They all ran to their holes like rats, weasels 
or snakes, and when they came out again it was with loud pro- 
testations of friendship and expressions of glory, etc., for the 
United States. The disposition to be a lying hypocrite is so in- 
born in the races going to make up a Mexican that actually no 
amount of education in any country would wash it away. 


In the past few years "wildcat" New Jersey corporations 
have robbed the poorer and more ignorant people of the United 
States, mostly servant girls, Swedes, and Norwegians, and 
even the Dutch and Germans more largely than any other 
people, out of millions and millions of dollars inducing them 
to invest in their coffee, banana, vanilla and stock-raising 
schemes that had no foundation whatever. The lies that were 
told in their prospectuses were greater than ever were told by 
the Prince of Hades. Ten dollar shares were sold for fifty 
cents and two dollar shares for ten cents. The big daily papers 
throughout the United States that are ever ready to advertise 
any swindle, pocket a few millon dollars for advertising these 
Mexican wild catamounts. The villains pocketed many mil- 
lions, while the suckers pocketed all the losses. No intelligent 
man would travel over Cuba but to return to say that he could 
not have been made to believe that there was any spot of earth 
or island on the globe capable of producing so much, excepting 
it may be wheat, rye and clover, of which to make brain, brawn, 
blood, and bank account, as Cuba was capable of being made 
to bring forth. Java may be its equal, but not its superior. 
Cuba will never be any better than she is to-day, and may in a 
very short time become a great deal worse, and will continue 
to grow worse. It is my belief that the United States will even- 
tually have to* make the thirty million loan good, and after years 
of trying to make something out of the island will have to 
abandon all efforts. The Spaniards in first conquering the 
country found in the West India Isles a veritable paradise, a 
Garden of Eden, a happy and Christian-like people, and when 
we read of the crimes committed on these people by the ac- 
cursed invader, the least one can say will be that 

"God moves in a mysterious way his wonders to perform ; 
He plants his footsteps on the sea and rides upon the storm." 

and that it is ''incomprehensible." 

Civilization and Christianity, if I may be excused and par- 


cloned for using the expression, go in belts around this world 
from east to west. The wise men that saw the star over 
Bethlehem came from the east. There is a limit for its growth 
North as well as South. There is no hope for its growth 
anywhere near the Equator upon either side. If I were writ- 
ing a book for the degenerate races of God's creation, if I were 
seeking favor from any one man, or party, or race of people, if 
I were a lying, caterwauling sycophant and hypocrite instead 
of being what I am and seeking to leave the world better than 
I found it, I would not write as I have and told the truth, as I 
started out to do in this book. 

I have all my days sought to benefit the community iti 
which I lived. I never invested a dollar or engaged in any en- 
terprise that was entirely and purely selfish. The first ques- 
tion with me has been, "Whom will it benefit?" And I can 
now look back and see where my bread was cast upon waters 
in which foul fish devoured it and on stony places and on des- 
ert lands, but by persevering and ever looking forward to 
the better time coming, I have lived to reach an old age, as 
compared with thousands of my compeers, and have lived so 
long as to be daily receiving expressions of thanks from all 
parts of the world for the good that I have done the expres- 
sors and from my having done as no other man in my day has 
done in balking wrong and evil and from knowing that "Truth 
is mightier than fiction," making it my standard and armor, 
as well as my flag. 


In India they have a proverb that in the valley the roads 
travel in many deviations ; as they come to the hills and moun- 
tains they course one way, all meeting at the top of the moun- 
tain; and in Italy it was taught that " Ignorance is the mother 
of veneration." An Anglo-Saxon has told us that "a little 
learning is a dangerous thing," and Agrippa said, "Much 
learning hath made thee mad." 

In my day I have had some experience with the good 
advice giver, as I have with the other two confidence men — 
the testimonial good character letter collector and the religious 
hyppcrite. Some people may think an intelligent business man 
may be deceived by the first, but not sol Who> undertakes to 
give advice is a busybody planning trouble for others. Let 
him alone. When you want advice, when you really feel you 
need counsel (this condition indicates that you have good 
sense), pick you out a man who has experience in that you 
would become wise on and don't go to him as a beggar, and 
much less if you were going to start something, but square 
yourself up and say: "Mr. Jones, I am in the dark; I want 
light, and I know you can give it to me, and I want to' pay 
you for your time and consideration, if not in ready cash in 
hand paid, then in some other way as may present." Then 
state your case, and if he takes the matter in hand you can 
soon see whether he talks honest talk, and if he does, do' you 
stand by him like a brother and a friend and show him that 
you are worthy of his good opinion. Making friends and 
keeping them, is the secret of success ; know and perform that 
and the milestones to honor, glory, wealth and true happiness 
will ever column your way. Never undertake to ingratiate 



yourself in any one's good graces by exhibiting letters given 
you by your old neighbors, etc., until you have become well 
acquainted with the party, and then don't tell him that you 
had asked for them'. Every tub now-a-days stands on its own 
bottom, for every one of us is his own maker of name, fame 
and fortune. If you have a matter at law, don't go to: a cheap 
old chap or a political lawyer, and don't think that because the 
best lawyer in your place has received a few five, ten or fifty 
thousand dollar fees, that he is too high-priced for you, but tell 
him you want him as a counselor, and that you are not now 
but may be rich, and you want him to put you on the road, or 
perhaps keep you off one that is going the wrong direction. 
Never think that because you are ignorant — for we are all 
that — or that you are poor, you should go to> ignorant or poor 
lawyers, and be it the same with doctors ; rather consider that 
the smart and the rich ones are your best friends. 

Ever remember it's not so much the price you pay for 
advice that counts hypocrites, but they don't "cut much ice." 
It's the church-house hypocrite that you're "looking out 
after" whoi will bring you the best dividends. Watch 
the man who in any way professes to be better than any other 
man is, and never credit beyond one meal, not another until 
that has been paid for — the converted, reformed, gambling, 
low-down drunkard, thief and highwayman! So sure as you 
do you will repent after losses never to be made good. Let 
the other fellow look after that sort of cattle; don't you if 
you expect to die happy and leave behind a good name 1 , and 
those who> will revere and honor you for good deeds. 

I have lost more money, time and patience trying to 1 do 
with "devily-bugs" than ten million good people should, 
judged by results. If a man meets me or says by his dress and 
appearance as well as by words — or more so — that he has 
been all sorts of bad men, I take him at his word and never 
ask him to bring me any proof. God "could raise up seed 


unto Abraham from the stones" said our Savior, but don't get 
into the fool way of thinking that you are a God of any sort. 

Those who know me know that life to me has been a. battle, 
with but few skirmishes, and that I have never reniged — have 
ever been the same, never was of moods. Though often cast 
down and darkness appeared all around, my everday, common 
friends knew it not; I went to a friend that I knew to be a 
friend, and for whom I'd do> unto* as he had unto me. All men. 
in difficulties and troubles naturally want to confide in and look 
for consolation from some one in whom they place confidence. 
The difficulty is in your placing confidence in the wrong one. 
Ask yourself, Would I know an angel from a devil ? and don't 
be too> easily satisfied in an answer. 

The following letter will explain itself, and will also serve 
to notify all of my future intensions. The Great Creator and 
Director of all good has not given me the trials and experi- 
ences, and finally the accumulation of worldly goods, but to 
enjoin upon me as did our Savior in illustrating the parable 
of giving the shekels of silver, and as unto him that has been 
freely given much is required, there is yet in store for me work, 
work while it is day. 

My business experience teaches that when undertaking any 
enterprise of moment calculated to> bring on public good, one 
must enlist young men as soldiers for the fight, and have old 
ones enough to do guard duty and counsel with. I shall not 
engage in this work for self-glory, fame, name or wealth, for 
I have oif all three all I want. I want to' teach truth to the 
young men of America. 

Chicago, III., August 19, 1904. 
Miss — — — 

Woman's Temple, City. 
Esteemed Madam: 

I have yours of last Tuesday on my table on my return. I 
see by yesterday's Inter Ocean that Mr. has been struck 


again in a way that that I do not altogether approve of. In 
order to make myself clear with you and your friends, I beg 
to make a statement that you shall be at liberty to use in any 
manner whatsoever you please. The newspapers have pub- 
lished statements that were not correct, and one or two as 
having come from me, and I am all but positively sure that 

some of them could not have come from Mr. , however 

much indisposed he may have been. Years ago I knew Mr. 
— ■ — well. It is false that he ever sang any song or preached 
any sermon that ever converted me, or could have done so. 
My attention was first attracted to him when, at a great 
Masonic banquet in aid for the Calvert sufferers, then but a 
boy, he recited a poem. 

"He heard my cry of distress," 

Mr. converted, remodeled, reformed, re-born, came 

nearer reaching my heart of hearts than any other living mor- 
tal on earth. He came of a good family — none better. His 
mother, as I remember her very distinctly, was a queenly and a 
saintly woman. I have formed many acquaintances in my life, 
but never have I yet known a man the equal of Mr. — ■ — and 
had his reformation and re-birth been different from what I 
for years feared it was, and as I made up my mind to* thor- 
oughly test before entering into any great and long business 
coonnections, then I know that I should have accomplished the 
aim of my life before my passing away and would have made 
it possible for others that followed me to accomplish a greater 
good than all other agencies combined are accomplishing to- 
day, and this I say with all due respect to the noble and grand 
work that your life's best efforts have been given to. 

A new day brings new duties, and I saw in the coming of 
that day — now well on us — how, with the all but matchless 
ability of Mr. , backed by the proper wherewithal, a last- 


ing and durable public good could be accomplished as in no 
other way. My aim has been, for many years, to- reach the 
boys as they leave the common schools of the country. Some 
wise old teacher has said that if he were given the boy until 
he was fourteen years odd, you might have him afterwards. 
I have found that at that age the devil is out snaring for boys 
and the good people are letting the boy take care of himself. 
If I were to- be asked to what I gave the greatest credit for the 
little of good that I have been to this world, I would reply 
that it came from a small volume entittled " Graham's Lec- 
tures to' Young Men," twelve in number, as I remember, and, 
looking forward to the greatest possible good I could do my 
fellow men for all time to come, I have aimed to place these 
and similar lectures fitted for this age in which we live, in the 

hands of every well-born American boy. When Mr. 

came to' me recently, knowing as he did my general character 
and wants, and stated that he was sick of politics and editorial 
work and that he wanted to engage with me if I could so 
shape affairs, I was greatly delighted, because I saw in him 
the "Herald," the "Tribune" this great move I long years 
have contemplated. Every arrangement had been made for 
his immediate engaging in the work on lines that I had care- 
fully drawn from years of surveying. It was not that I gave 
the plan away, or who stated the amount I had agreed to put 
out; quite on the other hand, it was I w!k> charged him, as 
well as my son, to> let no one know what we were going into. 
With a heart all but bowed down with grief and sorrow 
at this failure, and with a feeling of the greatest sympathy for 
the man who has brought it about. I still stand on deck pre- 
pared at the proper time to proclaim to the world that if God 
spares my life, the boys of America, its rising manhood, shall 
yet be told that which the vile politician, the harpy of destruc- 
tion, the accursed quack doctor, and the hellions on high- 


ways and byways, fear to have them told. They shall be 
told that which the average father or preceptor and the good, 
sanctimonious pulpit occupant will never tell them. In my 
opinion — and to me that is great — there lives no' man on 

American soil to-day so capable for this work as Mr. , 

if the proper person could only be found strong enough to 
point, to guide and direct him in its accomplishment. Finding 
that I was not that man, I declared all deals off, to retire once 
again in the private shades of life, where I may enjoy those 
comforts and blessings thousands and millions have been 
deprived of from intemperances of more sorts than that of 
drinking rum, and where, in days to come, millions more may 
enjoy their old age, if, like me, they be taught in their early 
manhood days those simple, innocent, honest, self-presenting 
laws of God in nature, the observance of which never fails 
to> bring a happy final. 

The successes of my life, as compared with the number of 
failures, have been few, but they have come more from the 
want, or rather inability to 1 find faithful, noble, honest, sober 
executives of my plans. I have never been able to teach old 
dogs new tricks, and I never intend to* throw away good 
money or precious time trying. If it is the will of my Creator 
that I should spend of my worldly gains in this line, He will 
direct me one who is reliable. 

From my earliest days I have always had a poor opinion of 
reformed and re-born men, and had I this day in bank the 
money that I have lost in dealing with that class of people, 
I could place a copy of the book I contemplate in the hands of 
every fifteen, twenty-year-old boy in the United States and 
yet have a little left. I never yet have undertaken to aid a 
degenerated being or to lift and upbuild a fallen person, but 
that I received the same treatment the fabled farmer did who 
brought the frozen adder home, which, when thawed, bit 


and killed his only son. You, my dear madam, are on the 
right track. My only fears are that you are not starting with 
the boy quite young enough on the one hand, and that on the 
other, the boy's mother is not strong to aid you in your great 
and noble undertaking. My life has been more beset by cater- 
wauling, lying, two-faced, Beelzebub hypocrites than that of 
any other of my acquaintances. This has been so to such an 
extent that my soul cries out for relief. To be betrayed in 
ordinary business transactions, and likewise deceived, is the 
business man's every-day expectancy, but when the livery of 
heaven is used as a mantle to .deceive, and when the high God 
has been called upon to witness promises made before vast 
assemblies in order to obtain fame, name and money, and the 
holy name is blasphemed, could our God have invented a more 
terrible doom than a never-ending, unquenchable fire of hell 
for such, the hypocrites? We must, ere many generations, 
either become a more God-loving, God-respecting nation and 
people, or we will become a people of no Godly marks about us. 
The two-faced, lying hypocrite is the one who will bring about 
the latter more rapidly than will all cigarettes ever made, or 
ever to be made, than all the whisky ever distilled, ever to be 
distilled, and all the curses of hell besides can, will or may. 

The scheme that I had of reaching the boys of America, 
can only be properly brought about from its being dealt to' him 
by clean hands, by spotless characters, by noble men, by those 
who when they leave the world, shall leave it better than they 
found it, and withal, by men of wealth, and I may say that I 
know of many who woiuld have joined me in this work with 
their money, who*, like myself, now stand idle, thinking, reflect- 
ing and calculating upon the new day with its new duties that 
is fast coming to us all. 

I am now engaged in writing a book that I faithfully 
believe will be read by millions, and that will do its good in its 
way, and in its preparation I have no Small, Large, Long or 


Short to aid me, but it is not the book that I am determined 
upon publishing for the young men and boys of the age. In 
conclusion, dear madam, permit me to say that your rejoicing 
shall be mine, and mine shall be at all times, when I shall hear 
of your progress in the noble work you are engaged in, and 
believe me, madam, with sentiments of the highest esteem, 

Yours truly, 
Theophilus Noel. 


An American got drunk over in England and they wrapped 
him up in a white sheet and placed him in a graveyard. When 
he came to he exclaimed, " Resurrection morn, by gum and an 
American first up !" 

I was reminded of this on my first trip to England, when 
arising at my usual hour in the morning, 5 A. M., and going 
out on the street, I saw no> one moving. I had to> walk more 
than an hour before meeting a policeman, who' seemed as 
badly frightened at me as I was "skeered" at him, not that he 
was a bad looking man, but that awful "His-Royal-Majesty's- 
Highness - King - Edward- VTI-by-the-Grace-of-God-King-oif- 
England-Scotland-Ireland-Wales-and-Emperor - of - all - the- 
Indies" look of that official was enough to "skeer" any good, 
innocent, liberty-loving Yankee. 

Politeness is more universal over there than with us, at 
first appearance, if not to. the end — the end will come if you 
fail to "tip" the man or woman. Money makes the horse go' 
there, as nothing else will. Money will not go as far there as 
with us ; so don't go there expecting to be respectable on less 
than is required of guests av or in all first-class conditions in 
our country, then add twenty-five per cent for "tips," and 
remember should you be introduced — not very likely — to> his 
"August Highness," much less any of his flunkies, not to> for- 
get to "tip"* the right party, having no fears as to results, save 
and except you don't. 

I never saw in all my acquaintance with negro slavery in 
the South such servility and slinking to master and overseer, 
as the Englishman displays to his superiors, a servility that 
an American loaths and abhors. There is no sociability 



amongst the people. They may be honest one with another; 
they have no chance to prove otherwise. 

The rich are mighty rich and the poor are degradingly 
poor. Think of three sets of tenants occupying the same house, 
each eight hours, and this for all life. No negro cabin down 
South in the days of slave iy was ever so wretchedly lone- 
some as are the tenements from one end of the land to- the 
other — agricultural and factory districts alike. The houses 
have no porches; windows, no curtains; no yards, no grass, 
no trees. The country is all fenced off into small and all- 
shaped fields, by rock walls. There is but little else than grass 
grown — some potatoes, scarcely any fruit ; cattle small, sheep 
large, horses big, lubberly and awkward. 

Few people cultivate their own soil, or live in their own 
houses. The average farmer is an ignorant, slow going, poky 
dullard that has no ideas of a future and cares nothing for 
others. Two American farm hands with a light eight-hun- 
dred-pound pony and a lighc wagon will haul more hay and 
stack it in ten hours than six Englishmen, a big wagon, three 
eighteen-hundred-pound horses will haul in a day's time, which 
is fourteen hours. 

The laboring classes all belong to unions, which teach them 
that the proper thing to do* is not to do what the employer 
wants done. This has driven capital to America and to Ger- 
many, for which reason one sees little on sale there but that it 
comes from one of these countries. The farm renters reasoned 
thusly: "If I raise a crop worth twenty-five dollars per acre, 
the lord gets twelve and a half, so' if I raise a crop only half 
that value, 'his riibbs' will only have half as much to spree and 
gamble away." The factory hand reasons the same way, and 
as a consequence the workers of England, Scotland, Wales 
and Ireland are the poorest paid workers on earth of the 
Anglo-Saxon race. The low-down serfs have no rights or 
property that his lord, much less his king, in any way respects. 


They are taught to and do believe that their lord, and espe^- 
cially their king, nor any of his family, can do no wrong, and 
that whatever they do is right. To illustrate: From the car 
window I saw a party of fifty or more well-mounted men and 
women chasing after a pack of twenty or more hounds which 
were chasing a fox or deer — more likely nothing, for I could 
see no animal in front of the dogs. They jumped over the rock 
walls in good style, through the fields where the farmers were 
haying, who-, like serfs, fairly flew to the right and the left 
out of the way, as did the cattle, hogs, sheep, chickens and chil- 
dren, while the chasers plunged over the fences, through the 
fields, scattering the hay that was already in shocks and win- 
rows, destroying patches and gardens, growing crops, much 
more than a hurricane would. I remarked to the gentleman, 
fellow traveler (prisoner), who had been locked up in the car 
compartment with me, that, "if a deer, it would be costly by 
the time all damages were paid." His reply was in effect, 

'That is Lord 's estate 1 — his park" — that the serfs 

would receive no damages, for the lord can do no wrong. He 
did not say "serfs," for that is my name for all people that 
stand such treatment. A lord's estate may be a few hundred or 
many thousand acres, all of which may be and generally is 
under the highest possible state of cultivation ; it is his for him- 
self and friends and to run over when and as often as he 

The estates are often large. We read of the one our get- 
rich-quick Carnegie bought in Scotland, containing sixty thou- 
sand acres of land, which would be nearly thirty-six miles 
across either way if a square body. Now on this estate there 
may be five, ten or twenty thousand farm tenants living, none 
of whom are any more considered when it comes to* the ques- 
tion of the "lord's" will, wishes, pay, profits or pleasures than 
my coach dog Dewey is consulted as to- my carriage drive, or 
the road I may take. I was told that where the lord received 


an annual rental of from ten to thirty dollars per acre, up to 
ten years ago, they now receive only from two to eight which 
pays only from two to five per cent on their properties, taxed 
value — wherefore the lords, earls, dukes and princes are- form- 
ing a union — a league — to force the Government to buy their 
land holdings, as it has done in Ireland, pay for the same in 
forty years two per cent bonds, then sell the land in small lots 
to the peasantry (serfs). This would be the means of elevat- 
ing England, if the poor, long oppressed and downtrodden 
serfs could only be educated up to the religion of personal 
ownership of home, land and cattle. This I do not believe is 
possible any more with the English than with the Mexican, 
the greatest difficulty being in the fact that for many genera- 
tions, the first born, the best and brightest of all the land, left 
home early for service in other lands and countries, for other 
kings and princes, leaving only the old, feeble in mind and 
body, at home whose progeny for the past several generations 
has greatly fallen off from what it was in times beyond 

An old man (92), born in Ireland, returned on the ship 
with me. He came to America in 1848, after helping in the 
building of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, settled near St. 
Louis and grew up with the country and from being an hon- 
est, industrious and sober man, a close observer, accumulated 
great wealth. In his manners and habits he was as plain as 
an old shoe and Irish to the backbone — a man who made 
friends, and money as well. He had spent five months in vis- 
iting his old home and in traveling all over the Isle, allowing 
nothing to escape his observation. He had been away for 
more than half a century. That I and his other fellow pas- 
sengers became interested and instructed by his recounting 
his experience, his disappointments and his funs, puns and 
jokes may well pass without saying. 

He told us that no one would have made him believe as to 


the great changes that had overcome and come over his country 
and people. The boy of his day and country was as the boy of 
my day and country ; where, then, a boy's or man's ration was a 
boiled potato or two> with a cup of milk, now it (the ration) 
came out of a tin can, the empties making a pile larger than the 
old cabin, that was built by honest hands. The result being that 
the Irishman of today was becoming more and more of a poor 
consumptive weakling, a Miss Sissy, a degenerate of spring ©c 
once noble stalwart, generous and pure people. This he said in 
his way — I'm telling it in my way — was the case in England, 
Scotland and Wales as well as in Ireland. 

He told of the people's abject poverty as compared with 
fifty years ago, and of the departure of all that grand old style, 
generous hospitality, and it seemed to me that he was talking 
of my people of the South and their changes from riches, 
grandeur, nobility and hospitality to the very opposite. 

He told of how the rich had grown richer and the poor 
poorer, the wise more wise and the ignorant more benighted ; 
and thus I came to realize more fully the changes that are tak- 
ing place the world over, day by day, that but few people make 
note of, or profit by. One race, nation, or people rise to rule 
for a time and then its- time comes to pass away, to be suc- 
ceeded by the very one it most despised. Talk we as we may 
about the Paganism of the past and of the present and of the 
religions and faiths people love to die by, but when we look 
to the West to see what our fathers, and we in our own short 
recollection, looked to the East to see, and there view half 
a million men in battle array, we hear in its din, and see in its 
dark smoke the Pagan's rapid approach to all that Christian 
civilization has brought to the Anglo-Saxon and vastly more. 
It was but as yesterday that the Russians were not considered 
quite half civilized — a barbarian, worse than a Roman Pagan 
race ; while the young man of today can tell of what his teacher 


taught as to the uncivilized, worse than jungle barbarian, 
human-sacrificing, devil-born Pagan, was the Japanese. 

What conditions and what peoples preceded the dark ages ? 
What peoples may succeed our age of enlightenment? 

With the influx of emigrants from all the hell holes of the 
earth, and with it the spirit of anarchy, the disregard of all 
laws, and rights of man, who may not have fears as to who' 
will be our successors? 

A great national event — a live stock show — was on when I 
first visited London, and, though I had telephoned for one, no 
room was to be had at the hoi el. By "tipping" a lackey with 
a half sovereign ($2.50) I procured a room in "a private 
hotel," where I had to pay double rates because of "necessity," 
as the keeper told me. I was the first American or statesman, 
as they called me, who had ever slept in the house, that had 
been "a private hotel" for more generations than there are peas 
in a pod, and kept continuously by the same family descendants 
of perhaps some Roman invader. I was an object of all sorts 
of attention and soon found myself on good terms with six 
gentlemen, the youngest over sixty-five, with their wives ; one 
a rector of a nearby church of ten thousand communicants. 
He was aided by eleven assistant rectors. He had been rector 
for forty-six years. I was the first "statesman" he had ever 
had the honor and pleasure of knowing. These were his words. 
It was less than three miles to the world-wide known "Billings- 
gate" fish market, where I had supposed every one of the seven 
million inhabitants of London had been often. He told me 
he had never been there or to the meat market or the vegetable 
or fruit market that lay between him and the fish market. He 
had a relative in the States and told me his name and asked if 
I knew him. The other four gentlemen and their wives had 
lived there all their lives, each rearing large families, all grown 
up, gone away, and it seemed not to concern them as to where 
they had gone or what they were doing. But two of these four 

ENGLAND. 34 1 

— eight — had never been out of the city of London. One had 
been on an excursion up the Thames forty years ago ; another 
had been on a voyage to India and back. Not one of the ten 
or twelve had been inside of Hyde Park, or any of the great 
public buildings or churches, except the church they belonged 
to. They were of the well-to-do class between the aristocracy 
and the drawers of water and hewers of wood. They had 
books, magazines and papers m numbers. I told them a few 
mild ones about my country so as to draw them out about 
theirs. I found out that they did not know as much about 
their own country as a ten-year-old bootblack born in Greece, 
shining boots and selling papers on the streets of Chicago, 
knows of his adopted land. I lost no time in giving them a 
few liners, that established my reputation beyond recall, or the 
envy of any one who cares a cuss for such people's opinions. 

These people were representatives of the English better 
class, between the two* lower and the three or four upper ones 
that look down upon them, as they do on the two lower. It 
was worse, if not greater than sacrilegious for me to refer to 
their king as being one of the millions that were as good if not 
better, and when in bidding them, farewell, a hope that some 
day we might meet in a country — the United States — where 
they would feel themselves just as good, if not vastly superior 
to any prince, king or potentate, they drew the line, and in 
such a way as to show me how true the scriptures are in the 
hog, dog and leopard parables. 

My one-day traveling companion was a barrister, an 
English lawyer, a man of culture and much travel, a close 
observer, who knew a thing or two and was not afraid to tell 
it when satisfied, as he soon was, that I was not a Scotland 
Yards man, who are to be found wherever one may go. They 
are the king's detectives, and woe befall the man, be he from 
any land or country,, who is heard to make a remark that can 
be construed in the least disrespectful to his Royal Majesty's 

34 2 ENGLAND. 

rights of eminent domain over land, sea, man or brute. In 
this matter every subject is a policeman to report what he may 
hear said derogatory to any satrap or underling in the pay or 
favor of the one who can do no wrong. 

That there is a degeneracy rapidly growing on the great 
masses of the subjects of Great Britain no one will question 
who has sprung from the race of Britons, as I did, and who 
has learned to admire their great valor, nobleness of character 
and love for human liberty in ages past, and will then see it as 
it is today, I could not have believed from hearsay. The student 
of politics would find no richer fields to' explore or dig into, if, 
after the study of all that is foxy, cunning and wickedly cruel 
in perverted human nature, he should take in England. 

That the Isles of Briton have given to' the world its greatest 
workers in all lines that have tended to the uplifting of the 
human race, none will question, and if the same freedom was 
given to its people today that we enjoy, we would not be so 
near being the whole thing as we are. 

Elsewhere I have told of how the northern slave holding 
states of the South, produced such stout and healthy negroes 
and mules for the cotton and cane fields, and how they have 
furnished this Government with its most brainy, noble patriots 
and statesmen, and so with the British Isles as to the world. 

A voyage to England, Europe, Asia and Africa should 
never be taken alone, or by anyone who has little means. If 
the ticket seller or excursion man tells you five hundred dol- 
lars, you say fifteen, and then if you don't gamble or get drunk 
and locked up, you may not have toi weep alone in a friendless 
foreign country until friends from home send you good words 
in the way of cash,. 

Who- travels in Eastern countries and fails to bring back 
lots of things and of all sorts, fails only from not having the 
money to buy. 

I have often pitied fellow travelers — and the more so that 


I have been there myself, oftener than otherwise — who felt 
like a thirty-cent piece from not having the wherewith tx> buy 
the soul-captivating toy, ay ! a good, square, hungry-stomach- 
satisfying meal. In traveling the old country, no matter how 
smart your mother has made you believe yourself to be, just 
put it down so as not to forget it even for a moment, that you 
are less than half way smart enough to deal with the fakirs 
lining the way and all the way. The best way is to travel with 
no smart woman. A little boy was asked if he did not wish 
that he could have all the ice cream he could eat, and he 
answered, "It was never made." Just so, the man who can 
travel with a smart woman and hold his own, he was never 
made. I was made soi as to profit by the experience of others, 
wherefore I am able to give the above advice with emphasis. 
Women make a better job out of it traveling alone than men do. 
It is easier for them to find fools than it is for men. Mark 
Twain says, "Be good and you will be lonesome." To travel 
alone in foreign countries you are apt to> be the latter and very 


From reading Lewis and Clark's Journal, as well as from 
being so inclined by birthright, my eyes, thoughts and hopes 
were turned Westward, and its star has been my guiding way 
often into trials, troubles and tribulations mountains h,igh. 

Years ago* the great people of Missouri erected in St. Louis 
an heroic bronze statue to the honor and memory of one who 
was not only their greatest statesman, but one of our entire 
nation's as well — the Hon. Thomas H. Benton, who' served his 
State in the United States Senate for more than thirty years 
consecutively. His "thirty years in the United States Senate" 
has no equal in any volume published giving the history of 
events so interwoven in the rapid growth o*f our country from 
Ocean to Ocean, and especially the great West. No warrior or 
statesman has ever had erected to- his memory a monument the 
equal of this, as all say who have seen the most of them. 
Benton it was who* did more than any one for the education 
of the people of the world respecting the West and in the face 
of an opposition that at times was terrific, waged by the con- 
tractors in the interest o*f Eastern enterprises that wanted it 
all. General Fremont, the "Pathfinder," was Benton's son-in- 
law and had for a wife one c>f the most noble and brainy 
women — a worthy descendant oif as noble a sire as God has 
graced this world with. This monument represents Benton 
speaking in the United States Senate in 1832, holding in his 
left hand a scroll map, pointing with his right to the West and 
toward the setting sun, saying, "This is the way to the East/' 
or this is the way toi India. This speech struck the people of 
our country as did St. Paul's to the Athenians, when he told 
them that he came to make known to them "the unknown God 



that ye ignorantly worship." I see in a paper of today that 
the largest commercial steamship ever built is now being 
finished to take freight and passengers from our west coast via 
Benton's route to the East, China, Japan, India and even 
Africa, and it is but one of many more being built for this 
route. Methinks it's next to Joshua's ordering the sun to stand 
still — any way one loses a day by going that way, as did his 
enemies, as related in the Bible. 

I've crossed this trail and then the rail tracks time and 
again going West to reach the East, and did I have the power 
to write of the wonderful tram- formation it has brought to the 
people of this world in all that they once thought impossible, 
I would devote pages to- so doing, that my readers might again 
be impressed — as I have elsewhere sought to — with the wond- 
rous world's works I and my associates in our age and genera- 
tion have done, a story, a truth, a song no American will ever 
be tired of hearing. As an illustration as to my part in the 
work I may cite that on my return home from a long voyage, 
my friends and neighbors gave a banquet and reception, and 
after replying to> speeches of welcome my little tot o>f a grand- 
daughter came toddling up with an armful of roses. Taking 
her on my lap, she said in a whisper, "I done something too, 
didn't me grandpap?" 

The millions and billions and trillions of wealth the West 
in general and particularly the California coast has added to 
the world with its millions of happy homes is too well known 
jof to need enlarging upon by me. Its great future can only 
be surmised by the Bentons of today. 

I might fill pages of matter relating to the West of today, 
but why should I in view of the fact that all having a desire 
to know of it can go and see for themselves with but a tithe of 
'the exertion and a fraction of cost as compared with my first 
visit? And now for a few pertinent and practical words to 
the reader that will be of future use and value in exact pro- 


portion as he may have good sense to judge the good from 
the bad, and that no* one but real estate men and ticket agents 
will cuss at. When you read of any country offering great 
inducements to immigrants, don't believe a word, but go. and 
see before selling out, as my father did, then don't believe a 
thing you see until you have both and all sides o»f the thing. 
Don't think you are even half smart enough to- judge of: any 
country or place by what you see at first, much less by what 
you hear. Stay for at least one year, so> as to see all the seasons 
before parting with, one cent of your money more than enough 
to keep from hunger and want. Few have had more expe- 
rience than I along on this line and thousands have come to 
grief and want whom I have advised as above, and who were 
told by the "agent" that I was a chronic sorehead, kicker, 
knocker, was interested in some other place, in fine, that I 
was a prevaricator and might have said a liar — for I was not 
present, and the fools believed it, and in many cases they wrote 
me for aid and assistance to> get back to their wives' folks. 

Ignorance is no excuse at law ; one that has been swindled 
out of his holdings cannot recover it on the plea of being a 
fool. The baby act never wins back lost money, betrayed 
confidence or sympathy. I know it is a happy thought to think 
of others as being as good, truthful and honest as we our- 
selves are; but to put it to practice is the surest way of bring- 
ing double refined sorrow, grief, want and misery. 

When a boy I was taught how to make all sorts of traps 
for various kinds of birds, animals and fish — this by a hired 
man who had spent years trapping and exploring in the then 
far Northwest. He also taught me how to make chimes 
sticks and all sorts of puzzles, etc. This he did while the other 
hired men played cards or pitched horseshoes at a pin driven 
in the ground. He told me of his trappings for beaver, bear 
and all other animals whose fur was valuable, and he told 
me of the then far away wonderland now known as the Yel- 


lowstone National Park, of his guiding and scouting and 
fighting with Indians, and though he could not read or write, 
when I showed him the large maps of the lands he had 
described to me he instinctively placed his finger on the spot 
where events had occurred. I felt at home when, forty years 
afterwards, I visited many of the sections he had told me of 
and about and recognized them from his descriptions. He 
knew no river or lake by any name our geographers have given, 
but called them by the name known to the Hudson Bay and 
Astor Fur Companies' employes which they had derived from 
the natives. The Columbia was "Flow with the sun;" the 
Snake of Idaho., "High bank;" Lake of the Woods, "Many 
fish zvater." He was a quaint genius with a. heart as large 
as an ox. I had found in a fence corner a roosting of quails ; 
he helped me make a trap that bagged the covey of fifteen. 
He went with me early in the morning, and after telling all 
about the birds' life and habits, asked me if I did not think 
it would be wrong to kill such a beautiful family. I said yes ; 
then he told me to turn them loose, and that some day I might 
be liberated myself from captivity, repeating to me these 
lines which have followed me through life: 

"The mercy I to others show, 
That^mercy show to me." 

That I shall meet this old teacher, trapper, guide and 
explorer in the far away land of the soul I have no more doubt 
than I have a right toi doubt my own existence. 

Some days before writing these last pages of my book I 
met an old time friend who, like myself, has been trying to 
retire from active life after having raised a family, all well, 
provided for, and who had been seeking peace of mind and 
comfort of body from not planning,. pushing, rushing, driving 
late and early, but was making a failure of it. He told me, 
as I could have told him was my case, that he could not be 


idle, that he was casting about to> go into business again, that 
he was satisfied it would be easier and better to wear out than 
to rust out. I advised him to do as I had been doing the past 
few months, i. e., write a history of his life, an autobiography 
for the benefit of his friends, to give them something to laugh 
about, criticize, swear over and to say, "what an old fool!" 
I told him that thereby he would have a chance to> live life over 
again and also to see and know how little of his life was worth 
the living; that what a fool for a fact he had been; that not 
to tell everything he knew or had done or wanted to do but: 
failed in; that he would soon find all he wanted to keep his; 
body and mind entirely engaged. He sends me word that 
he is going to< take my advice and wants a copy of my book 
to read before he starts. Net much, Mr. Jones, I am going to 
see to it that you write your own book first, lest you have 
the laugh all on me. 

In India there is a proverb to the effect that before one, 
becomes a man he must marry a wife, build a house and write 
a book. I've done all three twice, whether a man or not. I 
often think I might have made a better idiot than husband, 
builder or author, and though through life I have always had 
little regard for the opinions of others respecting my acts, I 
cannot help wishing to know how this, my last effort, will be 
received by those whom I have always regarded as my friends, 
and this feeling is not prompted by vanity or egotism, but 
comes from the fact that all other efforts of my life have been 
so acceptably received and considered that today I am classed 
amongst the heavy taxpayers in many places, which in my 
mind is the greatest possible evidence of worthiness of respect, 
— doubly so in view of the further fact that I enjoy no ill-got- 
ten gains. 


an inspiration 



love for the 

woman who 


became his 

happy and cherished wife 




jSj6, made his first 

1 {and last) 

essay at poetry 



tit being 


in the following, the 

original manuscript, faded and torn. 



found among 

old papers 

after many years.] 

I love thee because thou hast ever 
A smile and a kind word for me, 

When those who should cherish me, nevei 
Can aught but my foibles see. 

I'll quench not the flame that arises 
From perishing hopes of my youth, 

If reason the weakness despises, 

At least 'twill be counseled by truth. 

Thy love o'er my sad spirit beameth 

Like the moon on the dark brow of night, 

Till again in its glory it seemeth 
That even its shadows are bright. 

How sacred the hope I have cherished 
That still in some region divine, 

When all which is earthly has perished 
My spirit shall mingle with THINE. 

R01fel3 43t31 

PUBLIC LIBRARY, Houston, Texas 

This book may be kept 

and may not be renewed. Fine for keeping over- 
time is two cents a day. 

Noel N--.6* 

Autobiography & remlniacet' 

Houston Lyceum & Carnegie Library 


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kept in thU pocket 

R01bl3 H3b31